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Champ Car eyes race in HollandUPDATE #5 Correction, the Assen race promoters announced that 46,000 people attended the Formula 3 race weekend at Assen, not the 30,000 we originally estimated.
Champ Car lap time: Jos Verstappen was only allowed 4 laps in his A1GP car, (due to noise restrictions). This was the first time he drove on the new circuit and he did a 1.32.184 lap time. He reckons he could have at least gone 3 -4 seconds quicker (1.28.5 sec.). This would mean a ’06 Lola Champ Car would be able to do a lap time of around 1.19.0 (We looked at and compared the Monterrey lap times of both A1GP and Champ Car this year to come up with this conclusion.)
“Great, all these people along the track. Assen is an incredibly interesting circuit," said Verstappen. It offers several possibilities for great overtaking action. The TT circuit has some very fast corners, ideal for open wheel racing. You never know what the future brings. In any case: it’s a serious circuit!”
08/13/06 At right Dutch hero Jos Verstappen does some demo laps in his A1GP car before 30,000 spectators for today's German F3 race at Assen, Holland. The track appears to be wide enough for Champ Car and the pitlane is wider than the one in Montreal.
The grandstands in Assen were packed today and the front straight is also quite wide, much wider than many Champ Car street races.
07/29/06 AutoRacing1.com sources tell us that Champ Car and the Holland promoter are close to signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a race at Assen in September of 2007, either on the weekend of September 9th or September 16th. Although there is a verbal agreement of some sort, the MOU is not signed yet, but could be within days.
As we understand it, the Assen race will be on the 2007 Champ Car schedule if the MOU is signed and the first deposit made, but the race that it will be teamed with in Europe probably will not initially be on the schedule. If this goes forward, we hear we might begin to see advertisement for the event on Nicky Pastorelli's car as early as Denver.
As for the track being a bit narrow, it's wider than the track here in San Jose, so we suppose that issue can be put to bed.
What may stop this race from happening according to our Champ Car sources is the fear of taking the series outside the USA for both the month of September (Europe) and October (Australia/Mexico City). We hear Champ Car has other race venues stateside that want to get on the calendar in September so they are juggling a bunch of balls up in the air right now. Mark C.
07/19/06 Besides Morocco and a venue in Eastern Europe, LeMans is also being pushed by one group. Hockenheim could have been an alternative but now it appears likely the German GP could alternate years between Hockenheim and Nurburgring. It is doubtful that Bernie Ecclestone would look kindly on a Champ Car race at a European F1 venue. Both Assen and its paired race, if they are to happen, will be on back-to-back weekends in September.
07/19/06 After we broke this story back in June, Raceworld TV now reports that after studying and negotiating a draft contract made by Champ Car, a delegation of Dutch promoters and investors will travel tomorrow to Edmonton Canada. By invitation of Champ Car both parties will discuss details and will try to reach a final agreement for bringing Champ Car back to Europe in 2007.
The race at Assen is planned for September 2007 and will also appear on the 2008 and 2009 Calendar, a spokesman said. AutoRacing1.com has learned that another race in Eastern Europe or a race in the northern African country of Morocco might be paired with Assen.
Important for the promoters is Dutch Champ Car rookie Nicky Pastorelli and Dutch racer Charles Zwolsman combined with the fact that Assen is 'nearly' a home race for Belgian star Jan Heylen because it is in eastern Holland not far from the Belgium border.
06/25/06 Here in Cleveland AutoRacing1.com has learned that negotiations are fairly far along by a group that wants to bring a Champ Car race to the recently reconstructed 2.435-mile Assen track in Holland. The track is near Germany and Belgium, which means the race can easily draw fans from outside Holland. We hear that a companion race (to share transportation costs) is being looked at. Mark C.
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