The Tulpenrallye actually only starts on 7 in May. However, interested parties and of course the participants themselves could already experience some anticipation in Almere on Saturday afternoon.
Normally the technical inspection for a rally is a bit boring: paperwork, seeing if all the lights in the car work, that sort of thing. The organization of the Tulip rally had made more of it this time. On the Athlon site (a leasing company that calls itself a 'mobility provider'), not only the more than 200 participating cars were tested; the classics also competed against each other in a sprint.
Athlon also had a number of new cars on display for those interested. After all, most classic car enthusiasts also own a modern car. Although it was clear that not everyone was well-informed about the modern look. "Oh, is this such a Tesla?" We heard someone ask. Yes, that was indeed a Tesla. Other brands were also represented, making it possible to view the new BMW 5 Series and Alfa Romeo Stelvio, among other things.
On 7 May, all participants register at the Schlossplatz in Tegernsee, Austria. The following morning the rally really starts: from 7.31 hours the 200 classic cars start participating in this 64ᵉ edition, which is 2.515 kilometers long.
For a number of years, the field of participants was a bit monotonous, full of BMW 2002s, Volvo Amazons and Alfa Giulias. This has been different in recent years, also with this edition. Ton and Daniël van Dorsselaer, for example, participate in a very early beetle from 1949. Also nice is the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS from 1946 by Ralph van de Bos and Tom Deschan. And in a Dutch rally a Dutch car belongs, so we hope for a good result for the DAF 55 Marathon (1968) of Rob van Dooren and John van Dam.
Last year's winners, Alexander Leurs and Peter van Hoof, will defend their title in their Opel Ascona from 1970. Renger Guliker won in 1983, then 'the tulip' was another speed rally, with a Porsche 911. He still has that 911, but is not allowed to participate because he is too new. The organization should of course make an exception for such a former winner, but that does not happen. Guliker also participates in a Porsche, but now an 911 T from 1969. And that other Porsche veteran is also there: Gijs van Lennep, with Peter Rovers as navigator, in an 356 A Coupé from 1953.
Whatever the final ranking looks like, the real winners are already fixed for us: the teams participating in a pre-war car. This year there are four cars in the Vintage class (a Bentley, an Alvis, an MG and a Lagonda), but also two in the Sporting class: Michiel Hehenkamp and Ron Nakken with their Invicta S (1932) and Ruud and Miriam Wesselink with them Citroën Traction Avant (1937).
Those who want to see the participating cars themselves, can come to Noordwijk on 13 May (from around 13.00 hours). At the finish line at Grand Hotel Huis ter Duinen, participants receive tulips and can enjoy herring and Corenwyn according to tradition. Just as traditionally, this only happens after the sprint over the Koningin Wilhelmina Boulevard.