After the Scheivlak, the drivers will go to turn 8 of Circuit Zandvoort, better known as the Masters corner. The gravel bed has been renewed at this location, while new Tecpro-barriers have also been installed in front of the tyre stacks. At the exit of the turn, behind the new ‘Double Kerb’, there is also a run-off area, where drivers can get their car under control more easily after a steering error and rejoin at a later point via a safe route.
▲ Until the end of the 80’s, at the exit of the Scheivlak, the circuit was heading with a left-right combination towards the infamous area near Tunnel Oost. The first version of this left-right combination, near the Hondenvlak, had an extremely fast character. After a number of years this was judged as “too fast”, after which the Marlborobocht was built in. The turn got a sharper character, so theoretically drivers would drive at with a lower exit speed towards Tunnel East, because they had to slow down at the Marlborobocht. After the last race at the end of the 80’s the asphalt from the Marlborobocht onwards would not be used anymore and would eventually be demolished.
▼ At the end of the 90s, Circuit Zandvoort (and with it motor racing in the Netherlands) experienced an enormous revival and, while racing on an Interim circuit, plans were made to give Circuit Zandvoort a proper Grand Prix length again. Within the plans the former Slotemakerbocht and the Scheivlak were included again and linked to a new part to be developed. From then on the circuit no longer went left, but right at this new part. On the picture you can see the first contours of the new turn, while in the foreground there is still a part of the old circuit that ran from right (Scheivlak) to left. The new Marlborobocht, later known as Mastersbocht, would turn out to be a surprising and challenging element of the renewed circuit of Zandvoort.
▲ From 2020, the Mastersbocht will still be a tough challenge for drivers, partly because of its speed character. On the inside at the kerbstones, the metal “Ludwig teller kerbstone” has made way for a “sausage kerbstone”, in accordance with the specifications of the FIA. The gravel bed has been fitted with new gravel and new Tecpro-barriers have been installed at the tyre stacks, which will absorb the most energy in the event of a crash. At the exit of the Masters turn there is a new run-off area. This asphalt lane gives drivers, who have lost control of their vehicle, a chance to safely regain this control. Without any time advantage, the drivers will only be able to re-enter at Turn 9 and continue their race. New FIA safety fences have also been installed along the asphalted run-off area. And at the exit of the Masters corner, exceeding the ‘Track Limits’ is discouraged thanks to the special ‘Double Kerb’.
We’ll be shifting up a gear soon, towards the next Track Insights!