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The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende, has today announced A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will race in his country for the fourth time in Season Five. However, it will be new territory for the series when it visits the Assen track on 14-16 May 2010.
A1GP has one of its largest and most enthusiastic fan bases in the Netherlands, and is now going to a track famous for its enormous crowds when the biking fraternity visits.
To date the series has had its first race of the season there at the Zandvoort track in 2006/07, 2007/08 and 2008/09, when tens of thousands of orange clad fans have cheered on A1 Team Netherlands that has one of the country’s most successful racing drivers, Jan Lammers, as its Seat Holder.
From the Assen circuit, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende, today commented: “It is wonderful news that A1GP has signed a multi-year deal to race at the TT Circuit Assen. It’s a great opportunity to build on this year after year because of the multi-year deal. It’s an enormous boost for this region of Holland so is very important and will provide real opportunities for the future.”
Commenting on this news, A1GP Chairman, Tony Teixeira, said: “I almost feel the series colour should be orange. We have had an enormous fan following since our very first event, and no one will forget the dedication of the fans at our very wet opening round for the 2008/09 season.
"Assen is a track with a lot of history. It has hosted a variety of very successful races for both two and four wheels and so this will be an exciting new adventure for us.”
Assen has a long tradition with racing in the area since 1925, when the bikes raced on country roads. A circuit was built in 1955 and was then redesigned in 2006. It is 4.555 kilometres (2.830 miles) long and has a capacity for 100,000 spectators, with 60,000 grandstand seats.
Not only is it famous for racing, holding the annual Dutch TT races and a Champ Car event in 2007, but also now as a concert venue. The first band to hold a concert there was Iron Maiden in August 2008, which was part of its Somewhere Back In Time World Tour. The circuit’s current lap record was set in 2007 by Champ Car driver, Sebastien Bourdais, in a time of 1min 18.756secs.