THE STORY OF 1987
The A.M.A.C. continues the proven concept successfully. There is again a very strong field of participants at the start and close to 100,000 visitors visit the event. The weather is bad and wet. The organization is trying to get permission again to allow the public to visit the Vlasakkers, but this meets with objections from the municipality of Soest. Due to a number of accidents in the international rally sport, the fast cars specially built for rallying, such as the Ford RS200 and the MG Metro 6R4, are no longer allowed. The participating cars may have a maximum of only 300 hp on board and Group B cars will also be banned in the future. The field of participants therefore looks quite different, and the N group for standard cars is introduced.
John Bosch is the favorite in this field, this time navigated by the Brit Guy Hodgson. The Dutch top again consists of Guy Colsoul (Belgium) and Paul Maaskant of the Dutch Opel dealer team and Jan van der Marel and Peter van Merksteijn with the new Ford Sierra Cosworth that are used by main sponsor Ford Netherlands. Henk Vossen starts with an Audi. Among the top foreigners are the Swede Gunnar Pettersson (Audi), Ralv Ingar Schau from Norway with a Ford and the fast Dane Jörgen Hansen. The Danes Steen Andersen and Jörgen Nielsen are both registered with an Opel Kadett GTE from the factory. The Swedish duo Jerry Ahlin and Susanne Kottulinsky start with an Alfa Romeo and the always spectacular Bo Sandin starts with a VW Golf. Herwig Nelissen joins in a group B Nissan, and is navigated by Lambert Peeters.
The route is broadly similar to previous years. This year eighteen special stages have been included in the rally (216 km). The organization takes extra measures to be able to process the large public interest. The Vlasakkers are even more rigorously guarded, with agents on motorbikes and with dogs and also from the air by a helicopter. In Barneveld, the railroad police are deployed to prevent the public from getting onto the tracks that pass through a number of the tests (and in the past has led to delayed trains). A spectacular part is added to the test in Garderen through a sand excavation. The final is again on the Harselaar. The public interest is slightly less than in previous years, because there is a huge rain shower just before the start.
Bosch and Hogdson leave little doubt that they are the strongest in this rally and take the lead immediately. On one of the rounds on the Vlasakkers they get a flat tire with which they have to drive ten kilometers. They lose time and the lead goes back to one minute. In the following tests they put things in order again and are heading straight for victory. Colsoul can not keep up with this violence. He treats the audience in his very spectacular transverse driving style and drives to a second place. Pettersson has problems with his car early in the morning and is 19th. In the course of the rally he fights back to third place at the finish. Paul Maaskant has to stop on the sixth special stage in order to solve problems with his tires, and falls far back. In the course of the day he makes up much of the deficit and comes in fifth place at the finish in Barneveld. Jan van der Marel settles with his bad luck in recent years (he had not come to the finish in the Tulpenrallye since 1981). He brings the new Ford Sierra Cosworth of Ford Netherlands to fourth place. Peter van Merksteijn is eighth with the same car and thus maintains his leading position in the standings for the Dutch championship. Bo Sandin does indeed provide a spectacle. He rolls his car once at Vlasakkers drives hard against a tree on the last 10 meters of the rally at the forest path where the finish line of KP Harselaar lies. His VW Golf catches fire.
Bosch and Hodgson are the rightful winners, but realize that the Audi is too fast under the new rules and that there is little competition in this way. They are already building a fast VW Golf GTI for the next rallies this year. Erwin Doctor and Pierre Krieger are the winners of the national class with Ford Sierra. The award ceremony is being held on Sunday in Amersfoort.