HANNU MIKKOLA'S 'WORKS'
DATSUN FAIRLADY 2000 - TULIP RALLYE, 1968
(Picture copyright ROB BEDDINGTON, 2002).
From 1949 until 1990 the Dutch Tulpen (or Tulip) Rallye was a well known rally on the European stage, and for a number of years it held international status as a European championship rally. It's status on the rally scene changed in 1991, when it became a "historic rally".
The 1968 TULIP RALLYE
In 1968 the Tulpen Rallye,
together with the Rallye Monte Carlo, were two of the main events in the
16 rally European championship calendar. That year, Nissan elected to compete
with the same cars and crews in both the Monte and the Tulip rallies.
In the Rallye, the Roadster
crews perfomed well against an experienced field. Although Mikkola featured
well in the opening stages, Lusenius eventually outperformed him, overturning
the result at the Monte earlier in the year. The results, which gave Nissan
further encouragement after the Monte showing, were as
The 1969 TULIP RALLYE
A team of three 1968 high windscreen Datsun Roadsters, entered as "Datsun Sports 2000s" (not "Datsun Fairladies", as the low windscreen 1967 cars were registered for the 1968 Tulip Rallye) competed in the 1969 event. All of the cars in both years were LHD, had DATSUN 2000 badges (no Fairlady badges) and they all had Solex carburettors. They were shipped directly to Europe from Japan before each rally season.
The 1969 Monte Carlo teams of Kossila/Mannonen and Virtapuro/Lindholm had been released by Nissan because of their poor results, and Nissan entered three Dutch teams for the Tulip Rallye. One team, with Rob Janssen at the wheel, managed a respectable 5th place in Group 3, behind a Porsche, two Alfas and an Opel GT. Janssen beat Stanley Palmer's Ferrari 275 GTB into 8th place.
The cars entered in the 1969
Tulip Rallye are believed to be the two cars that competed in the 1969 Monte,
which had been repaired following numerous accidents on that Rallye, as well
as the 1969 Monte back-up car.
As far as can be ascertained, the 1969 Tulip Rallye was the last European rally event in which the Datsun 2000 competed.
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