As I've alluded to in several items on this site, modern racetracks have a hard time. Once built out in the sticks, away from the masses, urban sprawl has meant that houses have gotten ever nearer to the circuits, and as a consequence, complaints have started to increase. The more astute among you may want to point out that those new residents must surely have been aware of the existence of the circuit before buying their home, but that fact doesn't seem to stop people from complaining.
While such complaints might be regarded as rather stupid, some complaints are even worse. Like many other circuits, the TT Circuit in Assen has suffered increasing complaints from neighboring properties. Among the most vocal of these has been a local campsite and recreation park, Camping Witterzomer. Understandable as it may be for a recreation park to complain about noise from an adjacent racetrack - one that has been there for 53 years, a good deal longer than most of the other business in the area - it would seem rank hypocrisy for the same campsite to try to attract business from the very race fans whose activities they despise.
Yet that is exactly what is happening. The owners of Camping Witterzomer have put a good deal of time, money and effort into legal proceedings to limit the activities at the racetrack, including trying to prevent the Champ Car series from running at the track. The mass of complaints and procedures has culminated in the canceling of 20 track days and the KNMV Cup, a Dutch club race series aimed at offering riders a cheap and safe way into racing, and taking their first steps on the track in a safe and organized way.
All the while, the campsite owners are happily advertising special offers for the Dutch TT and World Superbike weekends at Assen. It seems they are perfectly happy to take money from motorcyclists and racing fans, while at the same time doing all they can to get the activities those very same fans love banned.
This is both rank hypocrisy and a direct attack on motorcycle racing fans. As a consequence, the Dutch motorcycle blog Oliepeil.nl is organizing a boycott of Camping Witterzomer, to persuade racing fans not to spend their money there. We here at MotoGPMatters are delighted to support this cause, as Assen is our local (well, nearest) Grand Prix circuit, and it remains an icon of motorcycle racing.
So here is our plea: If you're going to Assen, and intending to camp, don't stay at Camping Witterzomer. There are plenty of alternatives, which you can find out about if you follow this link. The region around Assen is popular tourist destination, and has plenty of other locations for you to stay at.
If you do decide to stay at Camping Witterzomer, you will be indirectly helping to get the TT Circuit at Assen closed, and help kill motorcycle racing in The Netherlands. Assen is the only safe, permanent, GP-length race track in Holland, and is desperately needed by race fans and racers alike. It's also a piece of history, having staged races since 1926, with the permanent circuit finally being built in 1955. It is the only venue to have staged a Grand Prix since the start of the series in 1949. It deserves to stay.
Help thousands of other race fans keep racing at Assen, by boycotting Camping Witterzomer. Dutch race fans will be eternally grateful.