2.0 Hotrods in Holland - how it all began
Since 1971 Ter Apel Raceway is known as a venue for Ovalracing in Northern Holland. The stadium "De Polderputten" is used for Car Racing from Spring to Fall and for Ice Skating in Winter. In 1979 the track got paved with tarmac which makes it outstanding in an area being dominated by Autograss Events. NNO Ter Apel has become a synonym for Touring Car Ovalracing in Northern Holland ever since.
The people behind the Club are racing fans too, attracted by the Spedeworth Spedeweekend in July for many years. The brothers Robert and Richard Dreier had been fans of 2litre Hot Rod Racing for quite a while but with Spedeweekend 2012 everything changed. A main problem in Ovalracing with Touring cars has always been the direction of running which is clockwise in the UK and the opposite direction in Holland. There has never been found a equitable rulebook to run LHD and RHD cars at the same time. So, after more than 5 decades of Ovalracing on the Continent, a fabulous idea was developed : "Why shouldn't we have RHD cars on our track in Ter Apel? It will be a new Formula to everyone, so no existing cars will disturb the introduction in Holland."
On Sept. 7th 2012 the inaugural formation of the formula was held in the bar near Ter Apel Raceway, in September 2013 the first Demo run was arranged and in 2014 the first full season got started.
One can truly say that the Demo run in 2013 has brought the formula to life. So beside the inventors Robert and Richard Dreier, the first ever drivers going clockwise in September 2013 are the true heroes of this story. Andy Crane transported the cars of his son Chris #75 and Charlie Jowers #31 to Holland. They were joined by German ace Helmut Laumen #453. The bunch provided an excellent Demo run that day which left every fan with a smile in their faces behind.
Half a year later, four German drivers had brought a car for the first practice on April 12th : Andre Wyzlic #25, Frank Noehring #116, Dirk Albrecht #90 and Christian Baer #351. For the first ever meeting they were joined by the two Dutchmen Martijn Vowinkel #22 and Gerton Boes #333 one week later.
In September 2014 the inaugural running of the Dutch Open already provided a 15 car field with Charlie Jowers becoming the first ever winner in a major title race with German, Dutch and UK drivers on track in the same heat. Later that year, Martijn Vowinkel became the first ever Continental points Champion in 2litre Hotrods. He managed to defend his title in 2015 before Mario Baer #291 from Moenchengladbach crowned his outstanding performance by winning the title in 2016.
In 2015 Spedeworth Motorsports offered the running of the National Championship to their friends in the Netherlands which was won by Gavin Botfield #303. Chris Crane #75 took the Dutch Open on his name that year and managed to defend his title in 2016. The emotions are always high when it comes to finish first in Holland, which makes us very proud. Speedweekend 2017 reflects on the outstanding relationship between the UK promoter Spedeworth and NNO Ter Apel to end almost like a fairy tale with the running of the European Championship for 2litre Hotrods.
Never forget : Ovalracing is Magic, especially with 2litre Hot Rods on track!
Stan Libuda for 2litrehotrod.nl