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The 50th International Historic Tulpenrallye will be held from Sunday 11 until Saturday 17 May 2003. The jubilee-edition of the rally will start in the Southeast of France in Aix les Bains in the Park Hotel du Casino. Aix les Bains is located at the West-side of the Alps not too far away from the Annecy Lake where in 1948 the idea for a “Rallye des Tulipes” was created at a terrace between Maurice Gatsonides and the French Simca-driver Marc Angelvin. The total route of this edition of “the Tulip” will be approximately 2500 kilometres, whereas the competitors will be passing subsequently through the mountains of the Alps, the Jura as well as the Vosges. The finish will traditionally be held at Grand Hotel “Huis ter Duin” in Noordwijk, the Netherlands where the competitors will arrive during the afternoon of Saturday 17 May. The prize giving and closing dinner will be held in the same location in the evening of that day.

The organising committee has received during the pre-entry period more than 250 registrations, after which several additional crews have been put on a waiting list. The pre-entries have in the mean time received the official regulations of the event, and are currently working on completing all entry formalities. The entries will close in March and the committee expects to confirm 225 to 235 crews on the official starting list.

The competitors will be welcomed on Sunday 11 May in Aix les Bains in the Southeast of France. This village can easily be reached by car, whereas various airports are located in the neighbourhood and there is also a railway-station in the area, with car-trains from various locations in Northern Europe arriving.

The documents control will be held during the afternoon, as well as the technical scrutinising of the foreign cars (while the Dutch competitors will be invited for a scrutinising in April in their own country). At the end of the afternoon all competitors will get together for a welcome-reception hosted by the organising committee in the Park Hotel du Casino as well as a dinner for all competitors and officials.

The actual start of the rally will be on Monday 12 May in Aix les Bains, with a long leg over the mountains of the Alps with various challenging stages. Lunch will be held that day at great altitude in Alpe d’Huez, after which the crews will arrive in the evening in Aix les Bains again.

Tuesday 13 May will then start in Northerly direction. A number of the stages from this day have been used before in the successful editions of 2000 and 2001 (and these originally came from Tulpenrallye’s in the sixties). The route of this day will include several interesting “cols” from the Jura. The route of this day will lead to a lunch in Natua, whereas the finish will be held at the Hotel le Lac in Malbuisson.

The mountains of the Vosges will certainly be included in the route of Wednesday 14 May. This area has been visited in almost all Tulpenrallye’s, and famous mountains like both Ballons d’Alsace as well as the Col de la Schlucht will be included. The finish of this day will be in the very characteristic village of Riquewihr in the Vosges. Dinner will be served in he local “Salle des Fetes” on top of one of the main gates surrounding the village.

Thursday 15 May will contain a route through the North of France (lunch in Delme), with a finish in Luxembourg at the Alvisse Parc Hotel. The participating crews will then drive on Friday 16 May through Luxembourg and a challenging stage through the Belgian Ardennes (with lunch at the Moulin de la Strument). The finish for this day will be reached via a stop in Turnhout and then on to the Priorij Corsendonk near the Dutch border.

Saturday 17 May will mean an early start as well as traditionally a very special stage in the Netherlands. This will be followed by lunch at the Headquarters of Fortis Bank in Utrecht. The last leg to the finish will be less than 100 kilometers. The crews will arrive in the course of the afternoon in Noordwijk at the Grand Hotel “Huis ter Duin”.

Competing vehicles have all been constructed before 1 January 1969 and do have a F.I.V.A. identity-card. Entries are open in the Sporting, the Touring as well as the Vintage-class. Cars in the Vintage-class have been constructed before 1 January 1946, and over 10 entries have been received in this class. The 50th edition of the International Historic Tulpenrallye is being organised on the basis of the Events Code of the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (F.I.V.A.), as well as supplementary regulations that have been published by the organisers.

The International Historic Tulpenrallye is being sponsored by EBREX Holding, Peter Hendriks Management Consultants, Morgan Automatisering, Gant, La Tulipe Vin d’Honneur, Grand Hotel “Huis ter Duin”, Moët & Chandon Champagne, Hennessy Cognac, Vierhouten Palletindustrie, Look Leasing, Janus Vaten, Fortis Bank, Bosal Uitlaten, HLB Schippers Accountants Fiscalisten Juristen, Hotel Zonne Noordwijk, Zoll Medical and Vakgarage Tinga Leimuiden

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