Since the day Max Verstappen appeared for the first time on the grid, it seems people went crazy. After his first win in the Formula One the Max effect was sparking and went skyrocketing millions of fans were attracted. Max does what many don’t in the sport. However, where the Max effect works well for the sport it seems not to work for the young Dutch talents. The National autosport doesn’t exist anymore and companies are keen not to invest in talent for what reason that is.
There were years that I went at least once to the circuit in Zandvoort as a proud owner of a paddock pass! I was allowed to visit any race weekend or events even the DTM and so on were part of it. I loved it to visit the races, the atmosphere and the races. There were some keen races in the Suzuki Swift Cup or the Formula Ford and so on. Well, this is no more there is no international autosport left in my country.
Obviously, there is still autosport; the DNRT has many events on Zandvoort and Assen with series like the BMW E30 Cup, Peugeot 206 GTI Cup, Volvo 360 Cup and the Free Formula series to name some of the races they organize. However, this is not professional autosport this is more on amateur level. The DNRT weekends don’t get many visitors though the races they organize have huge starting fields with some close racing.
Indirectly the Max effect has an effect as I think for an organisation as DNRT as people get motivated to race themselves. However, the effect seems not to work on the young talents who needs the money. Neither is there effect on the national Autosport scene. You could question that opinion as there are obviously examples of Dutch teams and drivers that were able to grow. The overall picture is different.
Myself I believed that the Max effect would gain more attention from companies ready to invest in the Autosport. Sure we had Racing Team Nederland from Frits van Eerd very successful. However, went way beyond the track limits and doesn’t race for now. Perhaps someday it will return. One of the few examples that accelerated.
Looking at the national Autosport there is nothing left. Where we used to have series like the Power Pack we now have nothing left. Of course, there are enough Autosport events at the circuits still. Most of them come from abroad. The last attempt was in 2017. Bleekemolen announced their Formula RP1 concept. This was to be similar to Formula Ford / Formula 4. Formulae racing for young talent. The project was originally scheduled for 2018 only to be rescheduled for 2019 to be canned and eventually cancelled. The problem was again the lack of interest from investors.
Now you might say, it is the zeitgeist that doesn’t calls for the need of several race series in a country. I questioned myself if a brand new setup of a Benelux series could fire it up. In this scenario, you can introduce a race pack with Formula, touring and endurance to give the Autosport the much needed boost. However, I still think that the interest from companies will still be low. The Max effect is not helping at all for the Dutch Autosport.