REVOLUTIONARY RACERS REUNITED IN THE CATHEDRAL OF SPEED
For the first time in the history of the Dutch TT circuit motorcycles and cars sharing a revolutionary racing past were reunited in the Cathedral of Speed. Pre-war sports cars dating back to the late 20s and motorcycles that were raced in Assen as early as 1932 and up to the late 90s, shared the famous race track with formula cars from the 60s, prototype Group C cars from the 80s and touring cars spanning 3 decades. 24H of Le Mans race winners like Marco Werner and Gijs van Lennep shared the limelight with some of the greatest motorcycle racers who have ever raced at Assen; among them world champions Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read, Carlos Lavado and Dieter Braun.
It was 3-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner from Germany who won the inaugural race with prototype Group C sports cars in the KW Group C Supercup. Werner, driving the impressive Gebhardt C88, beat Dutchman Michiel Campagne in his Spice SE92; a car that was driven to victory in the 2nd race by Campagne's fellow driver Dutchman Allard Kalff. Marco Werner finished just behind.
The ‘Historische Formel Vau Europa e.V.' put on a great display of historic formula racing in 2 entertaining regularity races. Dutchman Mark Spanbroek won the 1st race driving his Kaimann FV 1300; race 2 was won by German driver Nick Wittkuhn, also driving a Kaimann FV 1300.
Dutchman Tijn Jilissen, driving a Porsche 964 RS, emerged as the winner out of a grid full of thundering touring cars in the Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge. In race 2 Jilissen fell out of contention after 4 laps leaving German Walter Hoffmann to win the race in his McLaren MC1; undoubtedly helped by his experience in Assen as a motorcycle racer. His fellow countryman Daniel Schrey powered the ex-Le Mans Kremer Porsche 935 to victory in race 3, having already picked up 2 second place finishes in the first 2 races.
The compact family cars united in the 'Kampf der Zwerge' that have been raced since the 60s displayed some exciting races won by Herbert Wein Jr. from Germany driving a Morris Mini Cooper.
The reigning Dutch GTCC 66-81 Champion Jan Willem Oosterhagen blasted to victory in race 1 in his Ford Escort RS2000. A 2nd place became his share in race 2 when countryman Hans de Graaf beat him to the line in his Porsche 911. 4 races in the NK HARC 82-90 delivered 3 different winners. Dutchman Rob de Laat powered his Opel Ascona B 1900 to victory. The 2nd race was won by Dutchman Pieter Bikker in his BMW E30, leaving De Laat behind to finish 2nd. The final 2 races were also won in a BMW E30, this time driven by Dutchman Pepijn Kraaijeveld.
The debut of the all new Bimmer Challenge saw Dutchman Jan Bot jr. celebrate the victory in all 3 races. In the BMW-only class his M3 Linder emerged as the most powerful 'Bimmer' car.
The greatest motorcycle racer of all time, Italian Giacomo Agostini, was the leading star in the Motorcycle Legends show, which saw some of the world's most exclusive Grand Prix motorcycles back in action on the famous Grand Prix race track. The Yamaha Racing Heritage Club presented an extensive legacy in Grand Prix racing through a collection of successful grand prix bikes and the presence of world champions Phil Read, Dieter Braun and Carlos Lavado. The Dutch Vintage Sports Car Club paraded over 20 pre-war sportscars, JACK'S GP boasted historic F1 and F2 cars and the Heartbeat Corvette Club presented 7 generations of the famous American sportscar.
Despite some heavy rain showers throughout the weekend, fans had flocked to the track in their thousands to witness the inaugural Classic GP Assen in the Cathedral of Speed.