TT Circuit Assen
Layout of the TT Circuit Assen
|Owner||Stichting Circuit van Drenthe|
|Major events||FIM MotoGP|
Champ Car World Series
British Superbike Championship
Motocross World Championship
|Length||4.545 km (2.824 mi)|
|Turns||12 right, 6 left|
|Race lap record||1:18.298 (Ingo Gerstl, BOSS GP, 2018)|
The TT Circuit Assen is a motorsport race track built in 1955 and located in Assen, Netherlands. Host of the Dutch TT, it is popularly referred to as "The Cathedral" of motorcycling by the fans of the sport. The venue holds the record for being the only circuit to have hosted a Grand Prix motorcycle event every year since the series was created in 1949. It has a capacity of 110,000 spectators, including 60,000 seats. Since 1992, the circuit has also been part of the Superbike World Championship calendar.
The original Assen track was first used for the 1925 Dutch TT (Tourist Trophy) race, held on country roads through the villages of Borger, Schoonloo and Grolloo, and organized by the Motorclub Assen en Omstreken. The brick-paved track had a length of 28.57 km (17.75 mi). The winner was Piet van Wijngaarden on a 500 cc Norton with an average speed of 91.4 km/h (56.8 mph). In years afterwards the Dutch TT was held on a street circuit through De Haar, Barteldsbocht, Oude Tol, Hooghalen, Laaghalen and Laaghalerveen.
In 1951 the Italian Umberto Masetti took the record on a 500 cc Gilera with an average speed of 162.35 km/h (100.88 mph). In 1954, Geoff Duke of Great Britain reached 170.69 km/h (106.06 mph). The circuit remained unchanged until 1955, when a whole new circuit was built close to the site of the original, but less than a third of the length and much more like a modern road racing circuit.
The circuit was fundamentally redesigned again in 2006, becoming the so-called A-Style Assen TT Circuit. All alterations aside, only one section of the circuit is original; the finish line never moved. On 21 September 2009 it was announced that a new chicane will be added, after a request from the A1GP organization, however A1GP was unable to start the 2009–2010 season and as a substitute the Superleague Formula replaced A1GP.
Assen race track was built in 1955, and initially had a length of 7,705 meters (4.788 mi). The current track has a length of 4,555 meters (2.830 mi) with the mixture of super fast flat-out and slow corners. The longest straight is 560 meters (0.348 mi). The curves in Assen were traditionally banked and the surface is extremely grippy, so the riders were able to drive much faster on the course than other circuits. Today these sloped or curved bends have been modified due to safety issues.
On 6 July 2004 the organization announced plans for an amusement park located to the north of the track. In 2006 the northern loop was removed and the length was shortened to 4,555 meters. The new centre is expected to be visited by 300,000 people, and the total investment is approximately €85 million.
- April: Superbike World Championship
- June: Dutch TT
- July: DTM
- August: Gamma Racing Day
- September: British Superbike Championship
- October: Finaleraces
- Dutch Supercar Challenge
- CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship
- "Michelin ready to worship at the 'Cathedral of Speed'". motogp.com. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- (in Dutch) Dagblad van het Noorden Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- "Assen overview". netherlodger.com.
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