On a happy note, plans for the 58th edition of the ELE Tournament were unveiled at Café De Zwaan in Son. As has been known for a long time, the 2023 edition means the return of the two-day event. The Netherlands, fond of rally competition, had to wait a long time for the first meeting on Dutch soil in 2023, but after a week the time has come and almost 120 teams, divided into three events, will be at the start of this Dutch rally. .
During the presentation by Allard Kalff, several guests were featured. For example, there was Chief of Defense Wim van Rennes who explained the steps that Defense is taking to become more sustainable, a trend that is also seen in motorsport. With training grounds such as Strijpse Kampen, cooperation with the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Helmond Automotive Campus, the Ministry of Defense is also making great strides. In the context of sustainability, former protest driver Tom Meylink, member of the North Brabant Regional Council, was also present to give his vision on this.
Friday evening 2 June there will be four special stages, after the official start of the meeting from Kerkplein in Son from 19:00. Then the convoy, led by 0 driver Michael Smulders of GM Products, who unexpectedly had to switch from BMW to Renault Clio and three-time ELE winner Bob de Jong and champion navigator Erik de Wild who started No. 1, will head to Helmond region for special measures Asten and Lierop. After a 30-minute service at the Evenementen-terrein De Knokert in Veghel, these tests will take place again, but in the dark.
Classics are on the agenda again on Saturday. The ELE Rally Foundation is very pleased with the good relationship it has built with Defense over the years, so that the Strijpse Kampen festival will also be on the program three times this year. Please note: this special event is NOT open to the public. Afterwards, the special stages of Spoordonk and Wintelre-Oerle will undoubtedly ensure significant entertainment during the two rounds.
After the third Strijpse Kampen we hope it is time for the classic ELE Rally: Sint-Oedenrode. At the time of writing, the organization is making art and flying to make this test handled in the Marshall area, which will be very challenging. On behalf of the protest-loving Netherlands, we call on everyone who would like to do their part to report to firstname.lastname@example.org before this weekend. The Marshalls get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the game, making this a great experience!
That brings us to the closing step, the special step Ekkersrijt Son. Of course it’s full, it’s always good for a concert and a battle at the cutting edge. Let’s hope the race isn’t decided until the final test! The finish at Kerkplein in Son is scheduled for 10:30 PM.
The egg is a number of candidates for podium positions. Bob de Jong wants to live up to his favorite position by starting number 1 in the Hyundai i20 R5 or will Kevin van Deijne and Hein Verschuuren perhaps win this year, now that Hyundai’s brake problems have been resolved? What can the German entries for the Open Dutch Rally Championship Bjrn Satorius (Ford Fiesta Rally2) and Dennis Rostek (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo) do? Despite the lack of experience in the R5 car, but with a lot of Dakar experience, Ronald van Loon can surprise, skillfully navigating with Radboud van Hoek. Michiel Becx (Ford Fiesta R5) also wants to show well in his home meeting and he can do that. And where can Henk Vossen’s brand new Helichem Skoda Fabia R5 EVO go after its successful debut at the WRC round in Croatia?
In various cups also promises to be a duel of seconds. Would Yannick Vrielink, this time led by Harm van Koppen, beat everyone again in the GR Yaris Challenge? Local hero Roel van der Zanden would like to prevent that with Gijs Boom and a great new promotion for his GR Yaris. From Heuvel Motorsport there are many Clios delegates at the beginning, in the versions Rally4 and Rally5. Keep looking for talent! It is also good to see that some former members of the rally have taken the initiative to run ELE. In one name: Bart Geerdink and Jeroen de Vos with the Peugeot 106 S16 Maxi will certainly cause awe from the public side by side! A little ahead are father and son Frans and Klaas Ohmstede of the sponsor of ELE Kiestra access technology, both of whom are at the beginning with Opel from their generation. In anticipation of the presentation, there was already a lot of discussion about who should look in the mirror for whom! With a total of 71 participants, the 58th ELE Rally promises to have something great for everyone.
ELE’s 5th Historic Conference also promises good things for young and old. Enjoy these beautiful rally cars from the past. The first one this year belongs to Dakar driver Maurik van den Heuvel, who will take part in the Ferrari 308 GTB prepared by MCC Sport! MCC will also field two Lancia Delta HF Integrales. Last year’s winners Gert Bakkers and Teun van Dal will also be there with a Ford Escort RS Cosworth, and how about Audi Sport Veghel with Marcel Ludwig and Manon Los in an Audi quattro? Of course, the LKQ Fource Lancia Delta of Schijndelse Deltona Rallysport will also be at the start again.
After a few years in Germany, Retro Rally returns to the Netherlands after six years. The Road Control Summit covers long distances through map reading on public roads with several tests. Improvements have been implemented in the Netherlands: The Closed Road Control Meeting consists of tests that take place on special stages that are already closed for the ELE Meeting. While the rally is about running the test from start to finish as quickly as possible, the Code is about a predetermined average speed. So the trick is to finish as accurately as possible, with the top riders competing for tiny differences of 1/10 or even 1/100 of a second. The field of participants in the 1st ELE Retro Rally consists of various cars from the past. For example, we will see the DAF 66, Porsche 911, Saab 96, Mercedes 500 SL and Ford Capri RS2600 at the beginning of Saturday 3 June. The 1st ELE Retro Rally is jointly organized by the Euregio Autosport Organisatie.
Your ELE weekend
To fully prepare for the ELE Rally, it is a good idea to buy a magazine, as well as a passe-partout. These are available for the whole weekend (35) and Saturday (25). You can also choose to pay 10 per KP (good for 2 rounds of course). Detailed maps of special stages and a summary map, as well as messages from participating teams, can be found in the ELE Rally Newsletter. And do you complete your look with ELE Cap? Visit www.elerally.nl for pre-sale addresses (from 29 May).