Zolder 1209

Zolder

Zolder will always be remembered as the circuit at which Gilles Villeneuve was fatally injured during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.

Zolder will always be remembered as the circuit at which Gilles Villeneuve was fatally injured during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. A memorial stands above the pits as a constant reminder. Even before 1982 it was an unloved venue – narrow, rough, hard on brakes, and littered with chicanes. Originally opened in 1963 in the Flemish part of Belgium, it first held the Belgian GP ten years later when the race almost did not go ahead due to the recently relayed tarmac braking up. Set in pine woodland, the race returned two years later, and would be held into the mid-1980s, by which time the shortened Spa-Francorchamps retook sole custody of the event. Two incidents marred the 1981 race weekend. Osella mechanic Giovanni Amadeo was killed when hit by a slow-moving car in the narrow pitlane. The race began with Arrows’ Dave Luckett still on the grid trying to restart Riccardo Patrese’s car, and he was injured when hit by the sister machine of Siegfried Stohr. Zolder was renovated in 1986, adding another chicane at the point where Villeneuve crashed. The FIA GT Championship, Champ Car World Series and German DTM all visited as Zolder remained an important international venue. It also held the Formula 3 Masters in 2007 and 2008 when noise restrictions caused it to move from Zandvoort. A 24-hour race for national touring cars was introduced in 1983 and has developed into an annual highlight.

Circuit

Type

Permanent road course

Length

2.492 (Miles)

Change

First corner and chicane behind the pits reprofiled

Fastest Race Lap

Sebastien Bourdais (Panoz DP01-Cosworth), 1m14.089, 121.087 mph, Champ Cars, 2007

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Sebastien Bourdais (Panoz DP01-Cosworth), 1m12.821, 123.196 mph, Champ Cars, 2007

Type

Permanent road course

Length

2.606 (Miles)

Change

Chicane, Villeneuve and Ickx corners reprofiled

Fastest Race Lap

Markus Winkelhock (Dallara T02-Renault), 1m20.530, 116.498 mph, F.Renault V6, 2005

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Tiago Monteiro (Dallara SN01-Nissan), 1m21.674, 114.867 mph, WS by Nissan, 2004

Type

Permanent road course

Length

2.606 (Miles)

Change

Villeneuve chicane built at Terlamenbocht

Fastest Race Lap

Olivier Grouillard (Lola T88/50-Cosworth), 1m28.27, 106.283 mph, F3000, 1988

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Martin Donnelly (Reynard 88D-Cosworth), 1m27.75, 106.913 mph, F3000, 1988

Type

Permanent road course

Length

2.648 (Miles)

Change

Jacky Ickx-bocht tightened

Fastest Race Lap

Rene Arnoux (Ferrari 126C4), 1m19.294, 120.221 mph, F1, 1984

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Michele Alboreto (Ferrari 126C4), 1m14.846, 127.366 mph, F1, 1984

Type

Permanent road course

Length

2.622 (Miles)

Change

Chicane built behind the pits

Fastest Race Lap

Francois Cevert (Tyrrell 006-Ford), 1m25.42, 110.504 mph, F1, 1973

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Ronnie Peterson (Lotus 72D-Ford), 1m22.46, 114.470 mph, F1, 1973

Type

Permanent road course

Length

2.601 (Miles)

Change

Original circuit

Latest Races

3,420

Championships

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19,439

Results

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25,316

Drivers

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14,566

Teams

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922

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