Racing Around The World – Emmen, The Netherlands

Emmen Speedway is in the North of Holland, quite close to the German border. In fact, as you near the track, the road signs show ‘Emmen’ and ‘Meppen’, where a German stock car track was planned a couple of years ago. Emmen falls within one of the approved noise zones, which was evident on arrival from the sound of gun shots from the shooting range based next door.

Photo Stephen Cording

On entering the racing complex through the main gates, the main pit area is to your right with ample electric hook up points and plenty of water points for racing teams to use free of charge. As you walk down the pits, on the lower left hand side is a flat concreted area specifically designed for the Racing Scales which are available for every driver to use. Just behind this area on the pit road that leads to the track, is the sound testing area, where every F1 Stock Car must be quiet in order to compete, the limit being around 100 decibels.

Photo Stephen Cording

To reach the track itself, go straight from the main gate (bypassing the pits) to the flight of typical Dutch stairs (steep) and cross the walkway that bridges the MotorX track below.

Just before the stairs and to the right is a food outlet selling typical Dutch race food; Chips (with Mayo), Hamburgers and frikendals. Also to the right and part of the VIP block / Bar / Restaurant are some toilets.

On making your way to the track, the first thing to strike you is that the actual track is a good 4 – 5 foot lower than the spectating area, giving unrestricted viewing of the entire track. The spectator area is also ever so slightly banked towards the rear, giving spectators improved viewing while not being so steep as to pull the calf muscles. The spectating area also has a bark woodchip covering throughout to keep the surface suitable for walking.

The Track as viewed from Turn 4. Photo Stephen Cording

There were no restrictions on bringing in your own chairs and it would appear not to be a problem to consume your own food and drink including alcohol. Along the back straight, unreserved covered seating can be taken within adapted steel cargo containers, as well as on flat bed trailers.

The track surface when we visited was a mix of clay and shale which I would compare to the Dirt Tracks found in the USA. This slightly banked surface produced a variable, ever changing race track which for the spectators produced action packed races with no predictability. While for the drivers, it is a track you have to work on, with no lap being exactly the same as the track changes and full concentration is required from the green flag to the chequered. Around the inside of the track, marker tyres are imbedded in the dirt along with free standing marker tyres to keep the cars on the track.

Photo Stephen Cording

Dependent on the weather conditions, if fast – old school – sideways stock car – unpredictable – bumper using – big block Stock Car racing is your thing then Emmen is the track for you. The track is frequently graded by several tractors to produce the best racing surface possible. It might seem a long way but the smile it brings lasts all the way home – even if you choose to stay the night at one of the local hotels.

Photo Stephen Cording

We did not venture into the town, so cannot pass comment on bars / restaurants but the Hotel provided food options and a well stocked bar.

Stephen Cording

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