Last weekend we enjoyed a trip down memory lane as we went to see the Historic Grand Prix. Tudor, being official timekeeper and one of the sponsors, invited us to join them for this event at the circuit in Zandvoort (Netherlands) last weekend.
Historic Gand Prix in Zandvoort
The Historic Grand Prix in Zandvoort has built up quite a reputation in it’s rather short existence, attracting more and more classes and drivers to participate for this 4th edition. Spread out over three days there is a lot of historic motor racing to enjoy. The Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort offers 19 thrilling races in no less than 11 leagues.
During the day we saw several cars from the FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship, containing 3-litre engined Formula One cars from 1966 through 1985. Even a few latter F1 cars were in the program, including cars once driven by former world champions Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill.
Going further back in time there was a big line-up of Grand Prix cars from ‘61~’65, reliving the days of legendary drivers Jim Clark, Stirling moss and Graham Hill. It surprised us that all cars were driven really competitive. Despite their great historic value it was awesome to see the cars being pushed to their limits, and sometimes even beyond that point, making it really exciting to witness the event live. With the paddock club being located in the first corner of the circuit, also know as the Tarzan-bend, we had a great view on the races.
When we asked Tudor about the link with this event, they explained their fabulous history, linking the brand to motor sports for over half a century. As they also highly value their own history in watchmaking and high-end engineering they feel right at home as official timekeeper and sponsor of the Historic Grand Prix. That being said it wasn’t a surprise to see them bringing various historic timepieces to the exhibition in the paddock club. Here Tudor showcased some iconic watches and current models.
During the event, Gassan Diamonds (co-sponsor) auctioned one Tudor Heritage Chronograph for Lymph&Co. This Dutch charity raises funds for awareness and research on the treatment of Lymph cancer. They were surprised with a 10K euro check.
One of the highlights of the program was Freddie Hunt, son of James Hunt, commemorating the first Grand Prix victory of his father 40 years ago on Zandvoort. Freddie Hunt raced around the circuit in a Hesketh 308C, the same type of car his father drove 40 years ago in Zandvoort, crossing the finish in first place. Back in 2013, a movie called Rush, was released about the life of James hunt and his rivalry with Niki Lauda.
Pictured above, Freddie Hunt behind the wheel of the Hesketh 308c. The resemblance with his father is remarkable as you can see in this image taken 40 years ago:
Besides all (Pre) Formula One cars there was a big line-up of historic touring cars, gentleman drivers, Porsche and motorcycle demo’s and more. We really enjoyed the event with it’s action packed program representing decades of motorsport history. Being able to breath gas fumes and smoking rubber, just inches away from revving engines was a truly great experience.
Big thanks goes out to Tudor for the invitation and their great hospitality at the Historic Grand Prix in Zandvoort. We had the possibility to try the newly introduced blue Pelagos with it’s new Tudor in-house movement (which we reviewed earlier here) during the day. As expected it didn’t disappoint during regular use at the track!