Raceway Venray

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Raceway Venray
"The Fastest 1/2 Mile Oval In Europe",[citation needed] "Most Spectacular 1/4 Mile Oval In Europe"[citation needed]
Raceway Venray.svg
Location Venray, Netherlands
Time zone GMT+1
Capacity 10,000
Owner Harry Maessen
Operator Stichting Raceway Venray
Broke ground 2008
Opened 1977 (motocross track)
1989 (oval)
2009 (new location)
Construction cost Approx. €3,708,000[1]
Architect Architektenburo Olieslagers B.V.
Former names Circuit de Peel (1989 - 2008)
Major events NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (2015-2017)
Motocross World Championship (1982, 1986)
Outer Oval
Surface Asphalt
Length .880 km (.5 mi)
Turns 4
Race lap record 0:19.033 (Netherlands Frank Wouters, , 2014, LMV8 Supercup)
Inner Oval
Surface Asphalt
Length .440 km (.25 mi)
Turns 4
Race lap record 0:13.320 (Netherlands Jeffrey Zwiep, , 2016, National Hot Rod)
Karting Track
Surface Asphalt
Turns 13
Website www.racewayvenray.com

Raceway Venray, formerly known as Circuit de Peel, is a motorsport racing circuit in Venray, Netherlands. The track consists of a banked half mile oval with a flat quarter mile oval inside and features a karting track using portions of both along with dedicated sections. The track host its own local championships, national championships in cooperation with the Midland Circuit in Lelystad and Circuit de Polderputten in Ter Apel.

The track is owned by Harry Maessen, a local business owner who is also involved in several other motorsports projects, including the BRL V6 and BRL Light series, Funpark Meppen and Acceleration 2014.

History[edit]

M.C.V. Janslust[edit]

In 1961 the local people started hosting motocross races in the village of Heide, Venray. The goal was to raise money for a church, the current church of Immaculate Conception. More than a hundred motocross racers attended the first event June 25, 1961.[2] Motocross Club Janslust was founded to host the races under the sanctioning of the Roman Catholic Dutch Touring Club (the Roman Catholic variant of the Royal Dutch Touring Club). The motocross became a yearly event. More than twenty years the annual motocross was run. However, in 1983 the organisation was dissolved. The motorcross of 1982 was canceled due to bad weather. The loss of 6,500 guilders was a heavy burden for the organisation. The board of the organisation decided to end the motorcross activities.

Stichting Motor Cross Venray[edit]

After the dissolution of M.C.V. Janslust motorcross halted in the area. Former members Johan van Dijck, Jan Derikx and Harry Maessen founded a new private foundation in 1983, Stichting Motor Cross Venray. The owner of the track in Heide did not allow any new motorcross activities. The new foundation first wanted to host races at Castenray but eventually settled in Ysselsteyn. The foundation expanded the already existing facilities of Motor Cross Club Venray which had been in use since 1977. The track was expanded to a length of 1,500 meters and renamed Circuit de Peel. The track was located near the Lieutenant General Best Barracks.[3] The first race of the new organisation was held in 1984. Under sanctioning of the KNMV and the FIM the first race was held on February 5, 1984. The international Pullshaw Nederland Trophy was attended by many international riders such as Kees van der Ven and Heinz Kinigadner.[4] In its first years most races at Circuit de Peel were sanctioned by the International Motor Bike Association.

Start of oval racing[edit]

Map of the old Circuit de Peel

At the end of 1989 the Circuit de Peel lost its licence to host the Motocross World Championship Grand Prix. As this reduced the income of the track Harry Maessen decided to add an oval track.[5] On the 18th of August 1990 the inaugural races at the oval track were held. The track was 470 meters long and was made out of concrete. Track owner Maessen participated in the Super Stock class.[6] In 1991 the first Superstox World Championship was held by the Spedeworth organisation. Darren Innocent won the prestigious race at Circuit de Peel. The track was paved with asphalt in the winter of 1995/1996. A karting track was laid out in the infield of the oval track and also an autocross event was hosted at the oval. In 1999 the track started working with an other oval track in the province of Limburg the JaBa Circuit. The coöperation made it possible for racing drivers to run both track championships without missing races.[7] After the closure of Circuit de Berckt the Circuit de Peel had a big increase in drivers and spectators. The track was extended to a length of 520 meters.

In 2005 stockcar racing in mainland Europe suffered a major loss. During the highly prestigious Stockcar F1 World Cup at Circuit de Peel one of the drivers suffered a fatal accident. Piet Keijzer from Helmond had a flat tire in the outside lane. Keijzer spun and whilst approaching the infield had a head-on collision with Ed Neachell. Keijzer died from injuries sustained in the crash. It was the first and only deadly racing accident at Circuit de Peel.[8]

Illegality[edit]

The racetrack was never included in the land-use planning but the municipality allowed the circuit to operate in order to prevent motorcyclists taking to the woods and causing more nuisance. Since 1993 the track lied within the "Ecologische Hoofdstrucuur", a network of nature reserves with restrictions on what could be done inside them, was implemented by the Dutch Government and the provinces, leading to the circuit not only operating without a license but also in an area where it could never be allowed to. During an inspection by the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment the commission decided that the track had to seize its activities.[9] The council of the local province decided that a replacement venue had to be found before the track would be closed. It was decided that a new venue had to be found before 2006 or a fine of €200,000 would be imposed. Three new venues were proposed, these were all declined. In January 2006, however, the King's Commissioner Léon Frissen allowed the track to continue activities for six months. The case in which various ecological societies demanding the local government to close the racetrack even went to court.[10] The track was closed by the court in 2008. Two races were allowed to be run on the illegal race track. This caused a stir in local politics, both races were eventually canceled. In March 2008 Maessen built an oval track near the town of Oirlo without permission of the municipality. The entrepreneur Maessen was ordered to demolish the track within one week, an order which he obeyed.[11] An illegal, unorganized, kart race was held on March 16. This caused further political unrest, especially from the SP.[12] After the incident the council of the municipality decided to close of the old track with containers. The track was demolished in November 2008.

New circuit[edit]

Stienes Longin won both races of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Elite 2 class in 2016

In February 2007 an agreement was reached to move the old circuit De Peel across the road from the old complex. For this move a pig farm had to be moved. Maessen bought the pig farm and surrounding plot for €1,100,000. In return, the pig farmer bought a plot to continue his farm from Maessen for €410,000.[13]

The new quarter mile oval opened on Whit Monday 2009 with a demonstration event. The 2009 season only saw one race weekend at the track for the World Cups for BriSCA Formula 1 and Formula 2 Stock Cars. For the 2010 season the track only opened for the World Cup weekend again. Between the 2010 World Cup and the races on Whit Monday in 2011, the track was severely overhauled and the half mile oval was built around the quarter mile oval, which now had to share half of the width of its front stretch with the outer oval, a feature not liked by drivers in short-track classes. Although the track still had no full license, event licenses were obtained for four events in each of the 2011, '12 and '13 seasons. Over the 2011-2012 winter the short oval was shortened by bringing the straights closer together and a wall was constructed between the inner and outer oval.

At the end of 2013 a license was obtained allowing for 11 days of limitless noise and limited noise from events on other days. Ahead of the 2014 season the turn 1 grandstand was covered. The 2014 racing schedule expanded to seven races and first featured two rounds of the UK's Pickup Truck Racing Series. Midway through the season the infield grandstand was moved from the backstretch of the inner oval to turn 4 and part of a pedestrian bridge over the exit of turn 4 of the outer oval was constructed in order to allow spectators to go to and from the infield during races as well, though the bridge was not completed in 2014. Motocross also made its return in 2014, with the otherwise empty infield of turns 3 and 4 along with the back stretch of the oval being converted to a motocross track for the MON's International Youth Weekend. The full karting circuit was likewise first used in 2014, though sections inside the short oval's walls had been used previously already.

Series and events[edit]

The primary spectator events at the track are stockcar races on the inner and outer ovals. During these, several races for local championships are held, though some events feature races for guest series. Besides these events, the track is also used for racing and drifting courses, club meetings, kart races and courses and races and motocross races.

Regular Series[edit]

Several local championships are held at the track. Some categories also run at associated tracks for which a separate championship is also awarded encompassing all tracks. Each local championship has a feature event at one race day each year. The following classes have local championships in Venray:

LMV8 Supercup[edit]

Year Champion
2013 Netherlands Patrick den Biggelaar
2014 Netherlands Patrick den Biggelaar
2015 Netherlands Frank Wouters
2016 Australia Gerhard Newman

The LMV8 Supercup is the regular series at the half mile oval. It is the successor of the European Late Model Series. The LMV8 Supercup was introduced in 2013. The series features modern late model, such as Lefthander, Tanner and Howe, and older ASCAR chassis. All cars must be fitted with GM crate engine or GM LS1 engine.[14] The inaugural season featured many drivers from the ASCAR series 2015 series such as Kieran Dynes. Dynes suffered a hard crash at Raceway Venray after which he retired from racing[15] The following season more Dutch drivers joined the series such as Barry Maessen and Joey Hanssen. The championship in 2014 was a battle between Big Tuned Racing teammates Frank Wouters and Patrick den Biggelaar.[16] Den Biggelaar won in 2014, while Wouters won the championship in 2015.[17] 2015 series champion Frank Wouters holds the official half mile track record, beating the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as well as Pickup Truck Racing.

Inner oval[edit]

Guest Series[edit]

Several events also have guest appearances from other series that might not have a local championship at Raceway Venray but instead run races at several tracks.

Outer Oval[edit]

Inner Oval[edit]

Former series[edit]

European Late Model Series[edit]

The European Late Model Series used to be a regular guest but before the 2013 season the series split resulting in the Late Model V8 Supercup run by Raceway Venray as a local championship and the CAMSO V8 series run by CAMSO at its own track in Warneton and at Ipswich, Hednesford and Lydden Hill. In 2013 eight ELMS races were competed. Patrick den Biggelaar was the most successful driver winning five races.

BRL V6[edit]

The BRL V6 was a series founded by track owner Harry Maessen in 2004. The series used silhouette Ford Mondeo bodies mounted on tube chassis. The cars were powered by Ford 4.0L V6 engine. The series ran at regular circuits, such as Zandvoort and Zolder, between 2004 and 2009. Following 2009 the cars were allowed to enter the Dutch Supercar Challenge. For 2010 Maessen decided to host a new BRL V6 series at Raceway Venray on the new half mile oval. Many well known Dutch racing drivers participated, such as Cor Euser and Donny Crevels.[18] The first two seasons were won by former Formula Ford Festival winner Jacky van der Ende,[19] the 2013 season was won by Renger van der Zande.[20]

Formula Toyota[edit]

Classes that had previously run as local championships but have since not run at Venray include Formula Toyota, which last ran in 2010.

Stockcar F1 and F2 World Cup[edit]

Stock car Formula 1 car similar to the cars used in the F1 World Cup.

Since the tracks initiation several prestigious non-championship races have been held at Circuit de Peel and subsequently Raceway Venray. The BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars made their debut at Raceway Venray in 1992.[21] The first World Cup race was held in 2001. The World Cup is a highly prestigious battle between British drivers and drivers from continental Europe. The high tensions have resulted in many heavy crashes and injuries. In 2005 the event was marred by the deadly crash of Piet Keijzer. In 2014 another heavy crash involving Dutch driver Theo van Lier and British driver Tom Harris occurred. Van Lier suffered heavy injuries and was transported by air ambulance to the Radboud UMC.[22] In 2016 the World Cup F1 was won by Dutch driver Roy Maessen (nephew of track owner Harry Maessen), the first Cup F1 win for a Dutch driver since 2009.

Year Stockcar F1 Stockcar F2
2001 Netherlands Henk-Jan Rönitz United Kingdom Rob Speak
2002 Netherlands Willie Peeters Netherlands Toon Schut
2003 Netherlands Henk-Jan Rönitz Netherlands Willie Peeters
2004 Netherlands Henk-Jan Rönitz Netherlands Toon Schut
2005 Netherlands Piet Keijzer1 Netherlands Toon Schut
2006 United Kingdom Frankie Wainman Jnr Netherlands Toon Schut
2007 Netherlands Ron Kroonder United Kingdom Gordon Moodie
2008 Netherlands Louw Wobbes United Kingdom Gordon Moodie
2009 Netherlands Ron Kroonder United Kingdom Gordon Moodie
2010 United Kingdom Gary Castell Netherlands Toon Schut
2011 United Kingdom Gary Castell Netherlands Christian Weyenberg
2012 United Kingdom Tom Harris Germany Peter Baer
2013 United Kingdom Tom Harris Netherlands Sebastiaan Vowinkel
2014 United Kingdom Dan Johnson United Kingdom Gordon Moodie
2015 United Kingdom Frankie Wainman Jnr United Kingdom Gordon Moodie
2016 Netherlands Roy Maessen Netherlands Rick Lenssen
2017 United Kingdom Ryan Harrison Belgium Jan Bekkers
2018 Netherlands Roy Maessen Netherlands Kay Lenssen

[23]

Notes[edit]

^1 Keijzer was awarded the World Cup posthumously after his fatal crash during the 2005 main event.

Motocross World Championship results[edit]

Year 500cc 250cc 125cc
1982 not run not run Belgium Marc Velkeneers
not run not run Belgium Eric Geboers
1986 not run France Jacky Vimond not run
not run Netherlands Gert-Jan van Doorn not run

[24]

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series results[edit]

Year Class Driver Team Make
2015 Elite 1 Italy Nicolo Rocca CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS
Belgium Anthony Kumpen PK Carsport Chevrolet SS
Elite 2 Austria Philipp Lietz GDL Racing Ford Mustang
Austria Philipp Lietz GDL Racing Ford Mustang
2016 Elite 1 France Frédéric Gabillon RDV Compétition Ford Mustang
Belgium Anthony Kumpen PK Carsport Chevrolet SS
Elite 2 Belgium Stienes Longin PK Carsport Chevrolet SS
Belgium Stienes Longin PK Carsport Chevrolet SS
2017 Elite 1 Belgium Anthony Kumpen PK Carsport Chevrolet SS
Spain Borja García Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang
Elite 2 Brazil Felipe Rabello CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS
Brazil Felipe Rabello CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS

Track records[edit]

Track records on the 0.5 miles (0.88 km) oval are as follows.

Series Year Date Driver Car Make Time Avg Speed
Late Model V8 Supercup 2014 26 October 2014 Netherlands Frank Wouters Chevrolet 0:19.033 166.448 km/h
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series 2016 15 May 2016 Belgium Anthony Kumpen Chevrolet 0:19.676 161.008 km/h
BRL V6 2013 1 April 2013 Netherlands Patrick Peeters Ford 0:20.119 157.463 km/h
BRL V6 Pick-Up 2015 24 May 2015 Netherlands Frank Wouters Ford 0:20.607 153.734 km/h
Pickup Truck Racing 2014 5 July 2014 England Pete Wilkinson Vauxhall 0:21.616 146.558 km/h
Mazda MX-5 Cup 2017 23 October 2017 Netherlands Isaac van der Slik Mazda MX-5 NA 0:23.322 123.488km/h

Track records on the 0.25 miles (0.33 km) oval are as follows.

Series Year Date Driver Car Make Time Avg Speed
NHRRG National Hot Rods 2016 16 May 2016 Netherlands Jeffrey Zwiep Ford 0:13.320 89.189 km/h
BriSCA Formula 2 Stock Cars 2016 16 May 2016 Netherlands Kay Lenssen Ford 0:13.895 85.498 km/h
BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars 2016 28 March 2016 Netherlands Sjeng Smidt Jr. Chevrolet 0:13.929 85.290 km/h
Spedeworth 2 Litre Hot Rods 2017 17 April 2017 United Kingdom David Leech Vauxhall 0:14.171 83.833 km/h
BMW 325i Cup 2016 27 October 2016 Netherlands Dudo de Bruijn BMW 0:15.857 74.920 km/h
BriSCA National Ministox 2016 21 August 2016 England Courtney Witts Mini 0:16.257 73.076 km/h

Track records on the 0.25 miles (0.44 km) oval before re-configuration were as follows.

Series Year Date Driver Car Make Time Avg Speed
BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars 2013 27 October 2013 England Neil Scothern Chevrolet 0:14.486 109.347 km/h
NHRRG National Hot Rods 2014 17 August 2014 Netherlands Ralph Verberkt Ford 0:14.503 109.219 km/h
BriSCA Formula 2 Stock Cars 2013 27 October 2013 Netherlands Sebastiaan Vowinkel Ford 0:14.941 106.017 km/h
Spedeworth 2 Litre Hot Rods 2015 6 April 2015 Netherlands Martijn Vowinkel Citroën 0:15.480 102.326 km/h
2 Litre Saloon Stock Cars 2015 28 June 2015 Netherlands Frankie van Riet Ford 0:17.585 90.077 km/h
BMW 325i Cup 2015 27 September 2015 Netherlands Thomas Veldkamp BMW 0:17.675 89.618 km/h
BriSCA National Ministox 2014 16 August 2014 England Courtney Witts Mini 0:17.992 88.039 km/h

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MER Circuit de Peel 1 juni 2007" (PDF). Ruimtelijke Plannen. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Motorcross Heide". Peel en Maas. 26 May 1961. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Stichting Motor Cross Venray start op 5 februari met internationale wedstrijden". Peel en Maas. 30 December 1983. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Dubbel internationaal programma". Peel en Maas. 3 February 1984. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Uitbreiding van het motorcrossterein SMC". Peel en Maas. 14 March 1990. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Oval-Racing op Circuit de Peel". Peel en Maas. 16 August 1990. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Internationale autospeedwaywedstrijd Venray". Peel en Maas. 25 March 1999. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Stockcarcoureur in race verongelukt". Peel en Maas. 25 August 2005. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Finish voor Circuit de Peelwebsite=Ministerie voor Infrastructuur en Milieu". Archived from [file:///C:/Users/Satellite/Downloads/jr2008nr2_pag10tm13_finish_voor_circuit_de_peel.pdf the original] Check |url= value (help) (PDF) on 12 August 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  10. ^ "ECLI:NL:RBROE:2007:BB9759". de Rechtspraak. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Harry Maessen moet racebaan opruimen". Peel en Maas. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  12. ^ "ILLEGALE RACES OP GESLOTEN CIRCUIT DE PEEL". SP Venray. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Overeenkomst Van Dijck - Maessen" (PDF). Ruimtelijke Plannen. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  14. ^ "2016 Late Model V8 Supercup Regulations V-1" (PDF). Raceway Venray. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Raceway Venray World Cup F1". Mylaps.com. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Late Model V8 Supercup 2014" (PDF). Raceway Venray. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  17. ^ "LMV8 - Eindstand Kampioenschap Raceway Venray 2015" (PDF). Raceway Venray. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  18. ^ "BRL eindstand seizoen 2011" (PDF). Raceway Venray. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Raceway Venray BRL V6 2012 standings". DriverDB.com. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  20. ^ "De verrassingsaanval van Renger van der Zande: "Kampioen worden is..."". Racexpress.nl. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  21. ^ "Spektakulaire Stockcar-races circuit De Peel te Venray". Peel en Maas. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  22. ^ "WORLD CUP STOCKCAR F1 WORDT OVERSCHADUWD DOOR ZWARE CRASH THEO VAN LIER". HBJ Racing. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  23. ^ "Meer dan 90 stockcars in actie tijdens World Cup wedstrijden op Raceway Venray". Racexpress.nl. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  24. ^ "Venray" (PDF). MeMotocross.fr. Retrieved 28 November 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′15.07″N 5°52′40.55″E / 51.5208528°N 5.8779306°E / 51.5208528; 5.8779306