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13 Jul 2012

30 years later

Category: ERC, July, News Posted 13.07.12 22:12 by

In 1982 father Jan de Rooy pulled the plug on his Rallycross career, 30 years later his son Gerard de Rooy is set to walk once more in the shoes of his dad.


Dutchman Jan de Rooy was one of the most famous Rallycross drivers during the early years of this motorsport. Between 1969 and 1982 the in Son en Breugel based haulage contractor claimed a total of eight national and international Dutch Rallycross Championship wins. In the 1979 ERC he became the runner-up of his teammate Martin Schanche, the Ford Escort RS1800 duo having a lot of controversy before “Mister Rallycross” won his second European title while de Rooy claimed the Dutch crown. In 1982 “Ome Jan” bought a quattro from Audi Sport in Ingolstadt to crown his Rallycross comeback with that European title he had chased for many a year. However, after lots of problems with the car and just one victory (in Belgium) at the end of the ERC series the Dutchman was third of the point standings, once again beaten by Austrian Franz Wurz (Audi quattro) and Norwegian Martin Schanche (Ford Escort RS1800 Turbo). De Rooy said farewell to Rallycross to subsequently become one of the most famous truckers in the history of the Rally Paris-Dakar.

Like his father Gerard de Rooy also made himself a name as a successful truck racer in “The Dakar”. But it took him a total of twelve years to come home with an overall victory (2012 with Iveco) in the truck category, while his dad needed just six years to drive his truck to a Dakar gold medal (1987 with DAF). Now, almost 30 years after Jan de Rooy completed his last ERC season, offspring Gerard is set to walk once again in the shoes of his father. Today it became known that the 32 years old Director of the family’s company ‘De Rooy Transport’ is going to drive a Hansen Motorsport built Citroën C4 SuperCar in his Dutch home ERC round on August 11 and 12 at Valkenswaard. The car in fact is the 540+bhp C4 that has been raced in the 2011 ERC as well as to victory in the X Games 17 by Liam Doran, before the Brit turned from Hansen Motorsport to Mtechnologies. Briton Steve Harris owns the car since last spring and the maintenance is in the hands of ‘Autopoint Specialist Engineering Ltd’, the Liam and Pat Doran assisting company of Graham Rodemark. Graham is the son of the 1970s Rallycrosser Bernard Rodemark, who has raced with Porsche 911 against Gerard’s father Jan and uncle Harry de Rooy (each in a DAF 55 Coupé with BDA engine) back in those days.

“I need to do some test driving prior to the event. Because so far I only know the Eurocircuit by driving it with almost 10,000kgs under my butt. I’m really looking forward to the ride and wonder how such a top Rallycross car is going to behave. I will give my best in August, but I do not have the slightest idea if I’m able to succeed against the likes of Timerzyanov, Foust and Kuijpers. However, it is important that Rallycross gets back on the Dutch motorsport maps and I will be happy to assist to get it back there,” told Gerard de Rooy to ‘De Telegraaf’, the largest Dutch daily morning newspaper. The grapevine has it that de Rooy junior is interested in doing more Rallycross from 2013 on if the “ERC test drive” in August suits him well.