Flashback Friday 2012: Dutch F1 Stockcars Through The Ages (Part 9)

Flashback Friday: A weekly article brought to you from the vaults of top BriSCA photographer Colin Casserley. As we move closer to the commencement of the BriSCA F1 Stockcar season, Flashback Friday comes to an end with an overseas special.

After our trip around the UK, we move over to the Netherlands, a country which can boost as many, if not more registered drivers than over here, and where the increase in driver numbers shows no sign in slowing down.

1. Although Dutchman Barry van den Oetelaar (386) raced in many World Finals in the early 1960s he always qualified through the UK system as he was at the time based in Reading. Barry would return to his native Netherlands in the late 60s and promote at Tilburg. Marinus de Rooy (25) was among three drivers who travelled over for the 1967 world final at Harringay and can claim to be the first domiciled Dutch world finalist. de Rooy, who is pictured here in 1976 at Baarlo also raced at the first Scota world final at Wimbledon in 1975.

Marinus de Rooy 25. Photo Colin Casserley

2. Cris Baegen (35) was the Dutch representative in the 1968 world final at Coventry. Cris is the uncle of current F1 driver Hans Baegen (65). Baegen was listed in the line up for the race, however, the programme notes indicate the driver was Pieter Noordlander (35). if our friends in the Netherlands have any more information that would be greatly received.

Cris Baegen 35. Photo Derek Hibbs

3. Aad Reyerkerk (D18) raced in the 1969 world final at Belle Vue. the “D” prefix on the car is misleading as to all best knowledge it represents the track he raced at in the Netherlands rather than Germany. Information in the programmes was sadly lacking at the time so this information is as accurate as possible.

Aad Reyerkerk D18. Photo Rick Young

4. In the early 1970s Brisca had a tie-up with the EVACO club based in North Holland. Jac (1) and Henk Straver (61) made several appearances in the UK and were at four consecutive world finals starting at the 1970 Harringay world final. Jac Straver is pictured here at Stoke. If you know the original source of the picture below, please get in touch.

Jac Straver. Photo Rick Young Archives - unknown source

5. Spedeworth had links with the NACO ( Netherlands Auto Cross Originsation) dating back to the early 1960s when Les Eaton was alerted by a serviceman’s letter about racing at Baarlo. A driver exchange was initiated as early as 1965, with the Superstox (then called F2) cars having their European Championship at Baarlo the same year. When Scota started in 1975 three drivers were sent to every Baarlo meeting throughout the season. In this photo from 1976, Piet Klaassen (87) is being pursued by Alan Casserley (UK 104) and Les Mitchell (UK 238). The track was still a dirt track and at the time the Rodeo cars and F1s were in the same race.

Baarlo 1976. Photo Colin Casserley

6. Many of the Dutch cars at the time were still very “Stock”, with opening doors, windscreens and operating wipers. The car in the photo is Ton Verplak (1) and was taken at Baarlo in 1976.

Ton Verplak 1. Photo Colin Casserley

7. Many of the Scota drivers loved to race at Baarlo, and when Les Eaton offered the opportunity of their World Final race being held in the Netherlands they jumped at the chance. For the 1977 season the huge Baarlo track was changed from dirt to tarmac. This photo shows Rien Rutjens (15) leading Jim Wilde (UK 90), Gordon Perrin (UK 266) to the start line for the infamous Scota World final of 1977, a race that still lives in the memory of anyone fortunate enough to see it.

Baarlo Scota world final 1977. Photo Colin Casserley

8. With the Scota tie-up and the change to tarmac at Baarlo, the Dutch cars began to rapidly evolve. This is Friedhelm Welters (8) at Baarlo in 1977. Welters would lead the 1986 world final and almost came home second before being dumped in the fence in the closing stages.

Friedhelm Welters 8. Photo Colin Casserley

9. George Kroonder (17) at Baarlo in 1977, George would later change his number to 217 and the paint job to the more familiar Kroonder yellow. His son Ron (217) is among the best drivers to have raced and after some time off due to a back injury is back racing and winning races.

George Kroonder 17. Photo Colin Casserley

10. The change to tarmac at Baarlo also brought the introduction of the tarmac special. This is Pete Aalderson’s (22) machine complete with racing tyres. Aalderson would later race in the UK driving the Powles
(UK 154) built Sam Ostle (UK 351) car shown in last weeks Flashback feature.

Pete Aalderson 22. Photo Colin Casserley

11. Frans Meuwissen (76) was one of the leading Dutch drivers in the mid 70s, he raced this machine at Baarlo in 1977 and would go on to win the first ever “Long track” world final in 1978. Sadly Frans was killed
in a racing accident in 1979.

Frans Meuwissen 76. Photo Colin Casserley

12. Racing is in the blood in the Netherlands just as much as it is in the UK. this is Johan van’ t Veer (16) at Baarlo in 1977. his son John (16) can be seen racing at tracks like Emmen and Sint Maarten.

Johan van' t Veer 16. Photo Colin Casserley

13. There has been a stream of UK built cars make their way over to the Netherlands during the years. One of the first was this Darkie Wright (UK 7) built ex Mel Bassey (UK 17) machine. It’s seen here in the
colours of Ton Verplak (1), who is featured earlier in this flashback driving the yellow stock bodied car.

Ton Verplak 1. Photo Colin Casserley

14. Lambert Kuelen (104) at Long Eaton for the first ever European Championship meeting. It was a double header with “Ole L.E.” on Saturday and Rochdale on Sunday. Kuelen was no stranger to the UK, having made his début at Wimbledon in the mid 1970s in his low slung machine.

Lambert Kuelen 104. Photo Colin Casserley

15. Rien Rutjens (15) was another driver who raced regularly in the UK, and another who made his début at Wimbledon in 1976. Rutjens was also among the competitors for the first ever European championship but on
that occasion he was driving the Keith Barber/Long Eaton “Celebrity” Special John Hillam (UK 229) built car. This photo of Rien is at Rochdale on another of his many UK trips.

Rien Rutjens 15. Photo Colin Casserley

16. In 1979 the European championship moved to Harringay. Sadly the turnout of cars from the Netherlands was less than expected, with only Rien Rutjens and Herman Hochstenbach (29) bringing their own cars over. This is Herman’s car in the paddock area at the London stadium.

Herman Hochstenbach 29. Photo Colin Casserley

17. Friedhelm Welters was able to borrow a car from Colin Casserley (UK 176) for the Harringay meeting. It was far from ideal as there is a bit of a height difference between the two drivers! But Welters squeezed into the car for the European champs race but it ended early for him when he caught the front stretch fence.

Friedhelm Welters 8. Photo Colin Casserley

See Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE, Part 3 HERE, Part 4 HERE, Part 5 HERE, Part 6 HERE, Part 7 HERE and Part 8 HERE.

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