The Tulpenrallye starts for the first time in Italy. A beautiful starting location has been found in Saint-Vincent in the Aosta valley. On the terrace of the beautiful Gran Hotel Billia, the cocktail party with all participants and officials takes place on Sunday afternoons in the bright sunshine. The Vintage class is well occupied this year with 15 participants. Prior to the rally, all participants meet in the Netherlands for the conformity check of the participating cars and the document check. Athlon is the host of the Tulpenrallye Prologue this year. Frits Wester and Roelof Hemmen form the RTL Netherlands BN team on behalf of the Red Cross Mappa Mondo. They collect a donation of 50,000 euros during the rally.
The commune of Saint-Vincent offers the participants a warm welcome. On Monday morning the caravan leaves with bright sunshine from the shopping street. After a short route through Italy, the participants are already having lunch in Switzerland, after which they drive through France in the afternoon. The route this day is fairly simple, but the final stretches through the ski area Portes du Soleil are sufficiently challenging to ensure that there is already a clear ranking in all classes that evening. The Hilton hotel in Evian-les-Bains is the HQ and on the terrace all participants enjoy a beautiful first day. On Tuesday there will be some delay as a result of a long traffic jam on the ring road around Geneva. Later that day, beautiful routes follow through the Jura. At the end of a long day, the teams arrive in Besançon, where dinner is served in the beautiful Kursaal. Wednesday is Vosges day with beautiful routes through the area where the Tulpenrallye is most often driven. The participants enjoy the beautiful rolling countryside and the beautiful mountains in this region. In the evening a small trip to Germany because the HQ is situated in Offenburg where just before the finish another test is being driven. On Thursday, the route returns to France, including a test at the Chambley circuit at a former air base and a lunch on a golf course in the north of France. At the end of that day the caravan arrives at the Alvisse-Parc Hotel in Luxembourg, a location that is more often part of the Tulpenrallye and other international regularity rallies. On Friday, the route leads through Belgium. After some problems with the local authorities after the jubilee edition of 2013, in 2014 we did not drive here. On the basis of good cooperation with the BFOV and additional measures, the passage through Belgium is progressing well and beautiful routes are being driven. The participants are optimally prepared for the challenges with Belgian card reading and in most classes the differences in the ranking remain extremely small. On Friday evening the caravan is again received in the Bilderberg Castle Vaalsbroek in the south of the Netherlands. In this beautiful ambience the participants look back on a beautiful Tulpenrallye and prepare themselves for the last day. It runs to Noordwijk and consists of a number of map reading tracks and some tests on circuits and enclosed sites. The most challenging tests will be held at the Military Training Center OTCRij, where a number of very difficult routes have been set out. Here the standings are still mixed up nicely. Lunch is at Firezone Oil in IJsselstein. After an intensive week and the TulpenrallyeSprint in Noordwijk, the participants at Grand Hotel ‘Huis ter Duin’ are welcomed by the Noordwijkse bloemenkoningin.
2014 winners Alexander Leurs and Peter van Hoof naturally appear at the start to defend the title (Opel Ascona 1.9 SR 1970). Old winners at the start include Hans van Beek (1992 and 1993), with the experienced navigator Jaap Verplanken (Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Ti 1969), and Jan Ebus (2002 and 2012) with navigator Thijs Bender (Jaguar XK150 1959). Koen Bender (winner of the 60th Tulpenrallye in 1960) starts as a navigator together with René Bender (MG A Twincam 1959). Important contenders are also the winners of 2009 and 2012: Rinus Sinke and Bart den Hartog (Austin-Healey 100/6 1957). Former stayer Joep Wanders has registered with Albert Boekel (Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV 1967). Renger Guliker is obviously not missing at the start; with Pim t Hart (Porsche 911T 1969). Among the participants is Rosemary Smith, the winner of the Tulpenrallye in 1965. She starts with the experienced English navigator Ryan Pickering in a MG. Also ex-WRC rally-driver Stein Johnsen appears at the start (Volvo 123GT 1967).
There is an exciting battle during week between, in particular, the teams Sinke / den Hartog and Boekel / Wanders. On Wednesday, this last team seems to take a decisive lead when they hit all Route-Controls and only score 64 penalty points. On Friday Sinken and Hartog do better than Wanders / Boekel and they win almost 200 points back. With this they lay the foundation for the overcoming. On the Strijpse Kampen it is still very exciting, but all teams in the top have a number of controls here. Rinus Sinke and Bart den Hartog win the Tulpenrallye for the third time. Marcel Geurts and Alfons Geurts (Aston Martin 15/98 1937) are the winners of the Vintage class. In the other two classes the fight is very exciting all week and the classifications are decided on the last day. Peter and Diederik Struijk (Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF 1971) win the Touring Class and Paul Ruys and Robert Mous (Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti 1964) reach first place in the Sport Class. The Nations Cup is won by Team NL2, with Charles and Jacqueline Serry, Jan Peter and Yolanda Zijl and Robert v / d Meijden and Jeroen Sertons
Take a look at the Tulpenrallye edition 2015 with the selection of images below that we have selected for you!