THE STORY OF 1985
The rallysport in the Netherlands is flourishing like never before and the AMAC Tulpenrallye is one of the most important events in the Dutch championship. Audi again signs for the main sponsorship. The rally counts this year towards various championships: the various Dutch titles, the West European Championship ‘West Euro Cup’, and the brand cups of Talbot Samba, Peugeot 205 GTI, Ford Escort and the Opel dealers.
The Dutch top this year is formed by Jan van der Marel-Anja Beltzer and Henk Vossen-Hedi van de Kimmenade, both with Opel Manta, Paul Maaskant with Opel Kadett, Renger Guliker-Bob Dickhout with Porsche 911 SC and Wim Luijbrechts-Ab Molkenboer with Peugeot 205 GTI. Johnny Hoes has rented a very fast Opel Ascona 200 and the Skoda’s of the Dutch dealer team are also present. The foreign participation is impressive again this year: Stig Andervang-Andre Schoonenwolf with the new Ford Escort RS Turbo, the Swede Gunnar Pettersson with a very fast Audi 80 Quattro and Lars Eric Thorp with a Volkswagen Golf GTI from the factory. The Swede Mats Johnsson and the Danish Jörgen Hansen must also be considered capable of finishing high. The Danish couple Morten Spiro-Else Yde is back with a Mazda RX-7. Just before the rally a last interesting entry is added. John Bosch, who has had to give up his Formula 3 racing career after a serious accident, comes to the start with an ex-factory Audi Quattro. This is the car with which Mikkola won the World Championship rally of New Zealand in 1984. Bosch has decided to focus on rallying, debuts in the Tulpenrallye and is accompanied by experienced navigator Lambert Peeters. The field of participants this year is many times stronger than in recent years. World Championship driver Marc Duez controls the Audi Quattro that serves as a zero-car.
The participants can participate in a voluntary scrutinizing on Friday evening. The compulsory scrutinizing is on Saturday morning from four o’clock onwards. At six o’clock the first participant will start for an again very compact rally, with 23 special stages over a total length of 270 km. The first five tests, which are still done in the dark by the first teams, are in the municipality of Barneveld. The route then runs to Amersfoort, for seven tests on the military sites (including De Vlasakkers). Around noon there will be rest in Bunschoten. After that two more tests are being driven in Amersfoort, followed by special stages in Barneveld with the test Kallenbroek. After a short rest in Barneveld, the following tests are to be found east of Barneveld, including Garderen and the Harskamp. After a last rest on the edge of Barneveld, the grand finale follows on the industrial site at Barneveld. This is a cattle course that has to be driven several times so that several participants are driving very close together. The organization has even set up stands this year so that the public can not miss out on the spectacle. At eight o’clock in the evening the first team arrives at the finish.
Bosch also drives an Audi Quattro privately and recces the tests in advance. He gets off the road and comes to a standstill on the other side of the ditch in a meadow. He only drove the Audi once prior to the rally and this has been limited to several laps on a rallycross circuit in Belgium. The Escort of Andervang was made available two hours before the rally, after the British mechanics worked on it all night. After the third test, however, the crew has to retire when the wheel bolts break off. Bosch does not get further than a 40th time on the first special stage and then loses 30 seconds to van der Marel. On the second test he is already eighth, on the third fourth and then on the fourth test he drives the fastest time for the first time. Van der Marel strikes back directly and wins seven of the first nine tests. However, he will then have electrical problems on the Vlasakkers. Van der Marel has not been too lucky in recent years in ‘de Tulp’, and drops back. Vossen then takes the lead. But he also finds his Waterloo on the Vlasakkers and retires with a leaky head gasket. Johnny Hoes is the third Opel driver to lose his leading position on the Vlasakkers, with two flat tires. John Bosch has now found his rally-rhythm and then takes over the lead.
21-year-old John Bosch wins his first rally on his debut. The awards ceremony takes place on Sunday for the first time this year. The Swedish Opel driver Mats Karlsson is surprisingly second for Paul Maaskant. Jack Waalen / Michel Smeets win the national class.