Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential

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Bringing classic motorcycles and ditto cars together and revive the competition history. It happened on the TT circuit in Assen from 16 to 18 September. The Classic GP experienced its baptism of fire and passed it with flying colours. Moreover, the organization brought big names to Drenthe and did not deliver half the work in that respect either. The fans of historic motorcycle and car racing really enjoyed themselves and were also attracted to the Classic GP. They came to Assen in their thousands, braved the changing weather conditions and thoroughly enjoyed a top event.

In the run-up to Classic GP we spoke with Bertram Buikema. He has been involved in the event from the start. Buikema said that the Classic GP had been prepared down to the last detail, and that the organization had gone to great lengths to attract big names and illustrious heritage. “When you can tie Gijs van Lennep as a guest of honour, you are just proud. And so is Giacomo Agostini. He deals in world titles and is a real household name in motorsport history. He is one of the greatest drivers of all time. We think it's great that he's coming home to Assen. And take a look at other names too, such as Marco Werner, Phil Read, Carlos Lavado and Dieter Braun. In all modesty: with such a guest list you will look good. We are also very satisfied with the equipment that comes to Assen for various competitions. This makes a rich motor and motorsport history very tangible.”

Most participants field car related, conscious choice

The majority of the field of participants and the associated heritage was car related. The logical explanation for this is that there are more historic motorsport classes than motorcycle classes, and that also translated into the structure of the Classic GP agenda. “We have adjusted ourselves in advance to this relationship between historic track cars and racing engines,” says Bertram Buikema. “Nevertheless, we have made every effort to bring motorsport home. The Motorcycle Legends section - containing the most legendary motorcycles - and the arrangement of legendary GP motorcycles on the paddock are a few examples of this. Logical, because there is a lot, a lot of motorsport history in Assen.”

Giacomo Agostini the celebrated man in Assen

To start with the Motorcycle Legends: the most successful motorcycle racer of all time, the Italian Giacomo Agostini, was of course the man within this segment. The Yamaha Racing Heritage Club showcased an extensive collection of successful Grand Prix racers and crossers and the presence of World Champions Phil Read, Dieter Braun and Carlos Lavado. Tim and Tom Coronel ventured on the Eysink motorcycle with which their grandfather Bertus van Hamersveld drove the TT in 1932. Beautiful!

350 cc legend Leen Rehorst back in Assen after 65 years

The presence of 92-year-old Leen Rehorst was very special. He drove the Dutch TT's of 1955, 1956 and 1957 and became the best Dutchman in the 350 cc class. Rehorst was back with start number 46 for the first time since his last TT (1957, so after 65 years) at Assen. and was presented with a plaque of the 1957 TT poster in honor of TT circuit director Peter Oosterbaan. A wonderful moment, which also showed that old heroes always deserve to be honored.

Marco Werner lives up to reputation

As said: more drivers of name and fame appeared in Assen. Like three-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner. The German won the first race with prototype Group C sports cars in the KW Group C Supercup, er packed aus. He defeated the Dutchman Michiel Campagne in his Spice SE88 with the Gebhardt C92. Allard Kalff took the place of honor in the second race with the Spice, Werner finished second just behind.

Impressive

The 'Historic Formel Vau Europa eV' provided an impressive display of historic formula races in 2 regularity races. The Dutchman Mark Spanbroek won the 1st race with his Kaimann FV 1300; race 2 was won by the German driver Nick Wittkuhn, who also drove a Kaimann FV 1300. Dutchman Tijn Jilissen came out on top in a Porsche 964 RS in a battle between a large number of touring cars in the Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge. In race 2 he retired after 4 laps and the German Walter Hoffmann won in his McLaren MC1; undoubtedly helped by his experience in Assen as a motorcycle racer. His compatriot Daniel Schrey drove the ex-Le Mans Kremer Porsche 935 to victory in race 3, having already achieved two 2nd places in the first 2 races.

Herbert Wein Jr wins with Mini Cooper Kampf der Zwerge

The sporty compacts were united in the 'Kampf der Zwerge'. This category has been raced since the 66s. You could also taste the history of this blood group in Assen. The Kampf der Zwerge consisted of a series of two races. German Herbert Wein Jr won both with a Morris Mini Cooper. Reigning Dutch GTCC 81-1 Champion Jan Willem Oosterhagen blasted to victory in Race 2000 in his Ford Escort RS911. Compatriot Hans de Graaf won the second race with his Porsche XNUMX.

HARC and Bimmer Challenge

The four races in the Dutch Championship HARC 82-90 yielded three different winners with Rob de Laat in his Opel Ascona B 1900 in race 1. The second race was won by Pieter Bikker in his BMW E30, with De Laat behind it as 2e. The last two races were also won in a BMW E30, this time driven by Pepijn Kraaijeveld. At the debut of the all-new Bimmer Challenge, Jan Bot Jr. celebrated victory in all three races. In the BMW-only class, his M3 Linder BMW proved to be the most powerful 'Bimmer'.

Enjoying the paddock

The Dutch Vintage Sports Car Club paraded over the track with more than 20 pre-war sports cars, and the pre-wars also attracted a lot of attention on the paddock. The collection consisted of beautiful specimens. JACK'S GP presented historic F1 and F2 cars. The Heartbeat Corvette Club also came to Assen with a fine collection of Corvettes. The public could feast on seven generations of the famous American sports car. In addition, the many interested parties saw various legendary competition motorcycles and the historic two- and four-wheelers participating in the competitions.

“Success despite competition elsewhere”

After the Classic GP we spoke again with Bertram Buikema. He looked back on the three-day celebration at the Cathedral of Speed ​​in Assen with a good feeling. "Absolute. Yes, it is a given that we did not have the weather with us. We also had to deal with the fact that Goodwood was also being held during our weekend, and that is of course an immense and respectable event from way back. In addition, the Moto GP was on television. Nevertheless, we managed to get a nice field of participants with ditto equipment to Assen. And most competition classes were well filled. In addition, the first Classic GP really attracted a large audience. For us, these are all signs that there is growth potential in the event, and that is really the gain from last weekend.”

Quality with growth potential

Finally: the organization deserves a big compliment. Communication with the press and the public was excellent, those responsible left nothing to be desired before and during the event. The website is more than attractive, and the supplied photo material (see the photo gallery published below) leaves nothing to be desired for improvement. Everything was well arranged in advance, and that is less obvious than it seems. Count on the fact that the perfect organization of an event takes a lot of time. The way in which the organization managed things in Assen says a lot about the ambition to put Classic GP-Assen on the map from the outset. This also shows how much potential the event has to become an illustrious and permanent value.

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Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Giacomo Agostini. A legend came home to Assen and shows his skills here during the Motorcycle Legends on the MV Agusta
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Men of name and fame in conclave with each other. From left to right Giacomo Agostini, Phil Reid and Dieter Braun © Marcel Jurian de Jong-Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Splashing water is a bit part of the TT circuit in Assen. Here Group C in action during the Supercup match, a mighty sight. © Damon Teerink-Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Wonderful, the compacts that are so recognizable to the general public in action. ©Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Superb capture of a moment. Leen Rehorst returned to Assen after 65 years with start number 46. © Marcel Jurian de Jong-Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Leen Rehorst receives a beautiful plaque from TT director Peter Oosterbaan with an image of the TT 1957. Nice tribute. © Marcel Jurian de Jong-Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
How pre war do you want it to be? In Assen the public could enjoy beautiful pre-war work. © Marcel Jurian de Jong-Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
View from the stands on the Group C match field. © Marcel Jurian de Jong-Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Trot to the track asphalt. Beautiful shot. © Marcel Jurian de Jong-Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Classic car paddock on the TT circuit. The Corvette Club was present with seven “Chevy-C” generations. © Marcel Jurian de Jong-Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Behind the scenes, the haircut and shave in the space of TABAC creates a beautiful atmosphere ©Damon Teerink-Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Tim and Tom Coronel ride their grandfather's Eysink 500. © Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Marco Werner (center) wins the Supercup Group C in Assen and is surrounded by cheerfulness. ©Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Fixed values ​​within historic races, several BMW-02 circuit examples also came into action during the Classic GP Assen. © Marcel Jurian de Jong-Classic GP Assen
Classic GP Assen. Excellent start to an event with future potential
Smoking rubber, still an attraction for many. ©Damon Teerink-Classic GP Assen
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4 comments

  1. I enjoyed 3 days despite the weather. What a grandiose collection of cars and motorcycles and what a cool set up, so big compliments! This tastes like much more. And it's ideal of course if you live near the circuit, so come and check it out regularly with trackdays

  2. Apparently Friday was the day most participants missed. It disappointed. What it traditionally revolves around in Assen, the engines, was the neglected child. Unfortunately no compliments from my side. So clearly a lot, a lot of room for improvement!

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