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Tulpen Rally

From: Keith C
Category: Social
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Date: 01 May 2003
Time: 22:37:40



50TH TULPENRALLYE START STARTS 11 MAY IN FRANCE Many ex-winners at the start in Aix-les-Bains

Bilthoven, 29 April, 2003

The 50th International Historic Tulpenrallye will start on Sunday 11 May 2003 in South-eastern France, at Aix-les-Bains, in the Park Hotel du Casino. No less than 10 former victors will return from the annals of the event to join the other participants during six days (Monday 12 through Saturday 17 May) and nearly 2200 kilometres of gruelling competition for the “Coupe Rallye des Tulipes”. In total, 228 teams have been accepted by the organisation, divided over the Sport Class (155), the Touring Class (65) and the Vintage Class (8). All of the competing cars were built before 1969, while those in the Vintage class all left the factory before 1946.

Former Tulpenrallye winners One of the most prominent ex-winners of the event is Count Hugo van Zuylen van Nijvelt. In 1953, paired with Frans Eschauzier, he won the 5th edition of “The Tulip” as the first Dutchman ever, and with the youngest team. He will be at the start line with a 1952 Jowett Javelin, the same marque he drove to victory in 1953. The car was built in England, and the Count’s co-driver will be the Briton Keith Clements.

The team of Eddy van de Hoorn and René Smeets (1965 Volvo 122S) has also won the Tulpenrallye in the past. They did this no less than three times (1995, 1997 and 1998), an accomplishment that has only been matched by Ken Wharton, winner of three of the first four editions of the Tulpenrallye, and John Bosch who cleaned up in the ‘80s. Van de Hoorn and Smeets can be again counted among the candidates for a victory in 2003. Bert Dolk (1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint) also belongs to that category, and will appear once more at the start. He was the winner of the Tulpenrallye in 1973. In 2001 he succeeded again in claiming the honours, navigated this time by the uniquely experienced Belgian co-driver Robert Rorife, who himself already had an earlier Tulpenrallye victory to his name: 1996, partnered with his countryman Roger Munda. In 2002 Dolk and Rorife squandered a high placing by burning out the clutch of the Volvo on the Ballon d’Alsace, when they were obstructed by a herd of cows that had wandered onto the route.

Other teams with earlier Tulpenrallye victories, who will again this year be battling for the leading places, are: • The winners of the 49th Tulpenrallye (2002) Jan Ebus / Jan Berkhof, with a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. Navigator Berkhof has thrown himself into the stride for the highest places in many earlier editions, and for the last several years belongs to the organisation; • Adrie Brugmans and Jaap Daamen (1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT) were the likeable winners in 2000 of the “Coupe Rallye des Tulipes”, and after an absence of a year they are back to take part in this Jubilee edition; • In 1999 the Germans Horst Deumel and Willi Potjans (1967 BMW 2000 ti) were the victors in the 50th birthday celebration year of the Tulpenrallye with a very special edition to Berlin; • Thee winner of the Tulpenrallye in 1983: Renger Guliker. In that year, he and Bob Dickhout won in a Porsche 911, and this year partnered with Pim ‘t Hart, he will be behind the wheel of a Fiat 1600S.

What’s more, a number of very experienced navigators will be appearing at this year’s start, all winners of past events, but with other drivers back then. One very special entry here is that of the German Jochen Berger. He won the first edition of the Tulpenrallye that was largely driven over Dutch asphalt (1974), seated beside the European champion of the time, Walter Röhrl. He will be starting in 2003 with the German journalist Peter Steinfurth in an Opel Olympia from 1967, that is taking a break from its retirement in the Opel factory museum in Germany. André Scoonenwolf is another seasoned navigator, and was twice earlier the winner of the Tulpenrallye. In 1982 together with Jan Bak in a Porsche, and paired in 1994 with the public favourite and Swede, Stig Andervang, in a Ford Escort. This year Schoonenwolf is Harry Koorstra’s navigator (1964 Morris Mini Cooper). Anja Lieuwma also won the Tulpenrallye in the past. She did that in 1986, also seated beside Stig Andervang, but in that year in the very quick and unique Ford RS200. Lieuwma, whose name has already been inscribed eight times on the Coupe des Dames of the Tulpenrallye, will be seated at the start beside Lisa Klokgieters in a 1961 Austin Healey 3000 MkII.

Other contenders In any case, among the contenders for a high placing in this 50th edition of the Tulpenrallye we find Don van de Vaart – Hans van Doorn (1962 Triumph TR3A), Karel Westerman – Marten Roosenboom (1963 Porsche 356B), father and son Rob and Albert Jan Huisman (1964 Volvo 122S), Jos Lommerse – Erwin Berkhof (1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300) and Linus Verhoeks – Benni Roetgerink (1964 Volvo PV544). Eric Leerdam and Hans Gordijn (1965 Ford Lotus Cortina) are back again after some years of absence, and will certainly be battling for the top places, just as will Loek de Rooij – Peter Staal (1967 Austin Mini Cooper MkI) and Paul Kok – Nico Cortlever (1968 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT).

Dries Jetten will be making his 20th start in the Tulpenrallye, and will therefore be celebrating a jubilee of his own. The Jettens have the record of being the family with the most starts in the Tulpenrallye, since Dries’ father first took part in the fifties. Jetten is moreover a member of the Recommendation Committee of the Tulpenrallye, and will be starting in his 20th edition partnered with his son Dick Jetten, in an particularly beautiful Ferrari 250GT from 1957.

International participants In this 50th edition, a number of strong international teams will also be jostling for a place. The Swiss Christian Heussi, for example, will be first from the start in the sport class (the cars are started in age sequence, oldest first) with a Citroën 11 BL convertible from 1938. The Belgian Elmar Hoffman will navigate him. Also coming from Belgium is the likeable pair Gilbert Wilssens and Filip de Munck. In 2001 they contended long and hard for the victory, and finally crossing the finish line in third place (1958 MGA coupé). German pair Franz Zapfe and Anja Bögershausen (1964 Mercedes-Benz 220 SEb) have always mixed it with the top contenders of the last years, and they are planning to do so again this year. The fanatical Briton Neil Wilson (1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL) has had earlier starts in “the Tulip”, however this year he will be navigated by countryman Colin Francis, who can be counted among Europe’s most experienced and successful navigators. Other well-known international teams are Peter Pratt – Julie Eaglen (1955 Triumph TR2) from England, Brian Chase – Carl-Michael Emer (GB/D) with a 1956 MG ZA Magnette, Barry Weir – Cath Goodman (GB) driving a 1960 Aston Martin DB4, the Norwegians Rolf Lie – Tom Granli (1963 MGB) en the Danes Otto and Britta Kristensen with a 1968 Lancia Fulvia Rallye.

Coupe des Dames Without a doubt, the team of Lisa Klokgieters and Anja Lieuwma, in their hunt for the ninth Coupe des Dames for Lieuwma, will produce a thrilling contest with the Dutch-German team of Sandra Deumel – Regine Hansche (1964 MGB) who won this prize in 1999, and Lilian van der Vaart who won the Coup des Dames in 1997 (1968 DAF 55), navigated this time around by Ingeborg Guliker.

The Vintage class The Vintage class is open to cars built prior to 1946. No less than eight very exceptional automobiles will be starting in this class. On most days of the rally, it will be the Vintage class that starts first, so that these will be the first cars to announce the arrival of the rally in the many French villages on the event’s route. For the last two years, the couple of Ruud and Miriam Wesselink (1937 Citroën TA 7 C convertible) has been the strongest in this class. In any case, they’ll meet stiff competition this year from the 4 Bentleys of Frits Panman – Kjeld Jessen (1922 Bentley Le Mans 3 Litre), Jos Fruytier - Michel Privé (1928 Bentley 4½ Litre Tourer), Marc Straathof – Alex von Moser (1930 Bentley Speed Six) and Marcel Fruytier – Niek Lamm (1935 Bentley 3½ Litre Derby). Guus Meeuwig and Ton Sieling will set off in a La Salle Pheaton from 1928, and Marry and Dick van Dijk will again be starting with the very splendid Lagonda V12 Le Mans from1939.

Bert Kersten and Uli Schnier are driving in the Vintage class with a Mercury Kwik-1 from 1938, constructed by Tulpenrallye founder Maus Gatsonides.

The route On Sunday 11 May, the 228 participants will come together in the French Aix-les-Bains on the western slopes of the Alps, not so very far from Lake Annecy where, in 1948, the idea of a “Rallye des Tulipes” was born during a conversation between Maus Gatsonides and the French Simca-driver, Marc Angelvin. During the course of the day, scrutineering of the cars driven by the international teams will take place, as well as validation of the documentation of all participants. Later in the afternoon, all participants will get together for a reception in the Park Hotel du Casino, followed by a dinner with the officials.

The rally will start in earnest on Monday 1 May in Aix-les-Bains with a long stage through the Alps, with some very challenging mountains. The 22 checkpoints confronting them on this day form the first serious challenge for the contenders. Lunch will be taken at a considerable altitude in Alpe d’Huez, after which the competitors continue on the route, arriving back at the Park Hotel du Casino in Aix-les-Bains. On Tuesday 13 May, the Rallye heads north. Several of the routes from the successful editions of 2000 and 2001 (themselves copies from the rallies of the 60s) are on the programme, as well as a number of splendid “cols” in the Jura (such as the Grand Colombier). This day the route takes us to the charming Hotel Restaurant Le Lac in Malbuisson, via a lunch in Nantua along the way. En route to the finish, a checkpoint is planned at the Hotel Ripotot in Champagnole, where a similar checkpoint was situated in the rally of ’61.

The Vosges mountain range is waiting patiently for the Rallye on Wednesday 14 May. This is the 30th Tulpenrallye to pass through this area, and as always, famous peaks such as both Ballons d’Alsace, the Col du Brabant and the Col de la Schlucht will confront the participants. This day will end as it did in 2002, in the characteristic Alsatian village of Riquewihr, where the contenders will be welcomed at the finish line with a glass of the local wine, and the evening meal served in the village’s “Salle des Fêtes”, above the town gate.

On Thursday 15 May, the route leads through northern France, with lunch in Delme, and continues on to finish in Luxembourg at the Alvisse Parc Hotel. The route then takes the crews on Friday 16 May on through Luxembourg and a notably challenging stage in the Ardennes. This time lunch will be served in Restaurant Moulin de la Strument, nearby La Roche. In the afternoon the participants drive further through Belgium and, via a stop in Turnhout (with a reception organised by the town), they arrive at the finish line for the day in the Corsendonk Priory, close to the Dutch border. This fifth day of the rally is the longest stage, with a distance of 400km in the Sport class, and with the map reading in Belgium, is probably also one of the most demanding.

The Finish On Saturday 17 May, the teams make a timely departure for The Netherlands. As expected, there will again be a special stage included in the route, after which the competitors will stop off in Utrecht for lunch at the Head Office of Fortis Bank. The final leg is one of less than 100 kilometres to the finish line in Noordwijk, at the Grand Hotel “Huis ter Duin”. The cars are expected to start arriving from about 1:30pm. On this final day, the cars drive in the reverse order of placing, so that the winners of the three classes will arrive at the finish in Noordwijk more or less at the same time, and after all the others (4:15 pm). The victors will be congratulated without delay in the usual way, with abundant tulips and champagne from Moët & Chandon. In keeping with tradition, there will be a huge bunch of tulips and salt herring with corn brandy for each participant, while this year they will also be presented with La Tulpe wine by Ilja Gort.

From 7:30 pm onwards, the competitors will be expected in the Pické Rooms of the Grand Hotel “Huis ter Duin”. The gala closing banquet will then follow, together with the presentation of more than a hundred prizes to the various winners. According to tradition, the lights will be dimmed at about 11pm, and the victorious team will drive their winning car into the banquet hall, to receive the “Coupe Rallye de Tulipes”.

The regulations The participating cars are all built before 1 January 1969, and carry an F.I.V.A. identity card. Entries may be made in the Sport class, the Touring class, and the Vintage class. Cars in the Vintage class must have been built prior to 1 January 1946. The 50th edition of the International Historic Tulpenrallye will be driven on the basis of the Events Code of the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (F.I.V.A.), plus supplementary regulations that have been subsequently published by the organisation. The total distance for the Sport class is nearly 2100 km, while the Touring class will travel 2000 km, and the Vintage class 1900 km.

The sponsors The International Historic Tulpenrallye is 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, Lukkien, Hotel Zonne Noordwijk, Zoll Medical and Vakgarage Tinga Leimuiden

Last changed: November 19, 2008