Dutch Grand Prix – The Facility

When the 2023 MXGP calendar has been released last month and it was seen that the Motorsportpark Gelderland Midden circuit would be holding the Dutch round of the MXGP championship many people in The Netherlands got very excited.

This beautiful facility tucked inside the magnificent Hoge Veluwe nature park in Holland is everything a Grand Prix should be, from a good sand track, easy access and close to the very popular city of Arnhem. With this relatively new circuit, which is more than two kilometres from any housing, and in the middle of a forest, built right next to a freeway for easy entry and exit, the Motorsportpark Gelderland Midden might find itself as a regular stop for the Motocross World Championhsip.

Dik Wikselaar is the man behind the circuit and somebody with a lot of passion for the sport. As a former sponsor of Jeffrey Herlings, Wikselaar has been busy for some time now to get a Grand Prix running at his exciting new facility. Herlings, who, like many other Grand Prix riders has ridden the track on a number of times knows it will be a very good round of the 2023 Championship.

“Yes, “Herlings said. “12 years ago, when I was on the 85 and I won the World title, the European title, the Dutch and the German championships I was in Dik’s team. I know him for 17 years and he is a very reliable person. I think this is the best possible scenario for a Dutch Grand Prix. There is no facility in Holland that has this type of accommodation. A big parking, good infrastructure, and a lot of room for spectators. It is like in the middle point of Holland and with the woods and nature around it is really good for Holland. Close to the German border, or Belgium and even France, so it’s a great place to have a Grand Prix.”

Herlings, who dominated the Dutch GP when it was held at the Valkenswaard circuit doesn’t see the new facility as a replica of the euro circuit, but he does see it as a really interesting stop for the Grand Prix calendar and obviously loves the fact this circuit is a rather similar sand to that of Valkenswaard.

“It is a nice track. I wouldn’t say the same as Valkenswaard, it is a little sandier, because my feeling is Valkenswaard gets harder and harder and maybe because we had the race early in the season, when is still winter, the ground got sometimes a bit frozen. It is difficult to judge; They will change for sure track track for a Grand Prix and but I think it is a good track. It is always great to get some new tracks in the GP calendar”.

When somebody told me there was a motocross track in the middle of the Hoge Veluwe (a nature park in Holland), I couldn’t believe it. Then I saw the photos of the track and was blown away how beautiful it was. How do you get such a great spot! Wikselaar has been involved in many relationships in his time in the sport and has built a good communication with the right people to make this Grand Prix very special, from the local government to wealthy sponsors.

“If you develop enough relationships with people and deliver things to them, then you'll get something back,” Wikselaar said. “We did a swap; we gave the local government two circuits (large pieces of land), and we got this piece of land in return. We gave them 15 hectares and we got 10 hectares back and then we made a new circuit. When I came here it was all wild, but now it is beautiful, close to the highway and not near houses. We have a really good relationship with the local government (Province Gelderland) and also Arnhem, and also with people who are at the top of organizing things. That is important to have good relationships with these people, but that is important in life, not only in motocross.”

Arno van den Brink who is the organizer of the Dutch Masters of Motocross is also closely involved with the Arnhem circuit and as a passionate person inside the paddock in Holland, he knows that this is going to be a very special Grand Prix.

“This is a new circuit,” VD Brink said. “It is growing quickly, and it’s a fantastic facility. It is one of the best clubs in Holland and we wanted to do a Dutch Masters, but that wasn’t possible. This club has people who want to help, but still don’t have the knowhow to run a Grand Prix. We have a group who have all the experience and, working all together with Infront Moto Racing and the local club, I’m pretty sure that we’ll have a great outcome.”

So now, as we await the season to start, you just know many of the leading Grand Prix riders will be using this facility as their pre-season preparation, and come the 20th of August, the place will be packed with excited Dutch fans looking for their local riders to take the victory

 

Photo copyrights: Geoff Meyer

 

Author: 
Geoff Meyer

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