“There you can drive as you like. With the power of our DAF we overtook everyone.
Really amazing! So beautiful through those dunes and then all those cars past.”
Today, the Dakar Classics started the second part of the marathon stage. In total, the participants had to cover 509 kilometers with their classic rally vehicles, of which 323 on special-stage.
Liaison > 186 km – Special > 323 km
Van Kasteren sr., Heezen and Keijsers revive old times
The longest special-stage during this rally with a varied course consisting of beautiful sand plains, dunes and parts with a lot of camel grass. The bivouac without service teams was in the middle of the Empty Quarter. One of the largest sandpits in the world.
The men of De Rooy’s Classic Team DAF got off to a good start. Last night Janus van Kasteren sr., Thijs Heezen and Herman Keijsers already went to bed at around nine o’clock and this morning the start was around half past nine.
Herman Keijsers jokes: “Last night we spent the night in the so-called Empty Quarter. That name is probably based on the number of internet antennas here.” By this he refers to the lack of internet and telephone connection. He continues” Due to this seclusion, we had an excellent night’s rest. Top fit and motivated to the bone, we showed up at the start.” And that paid off.
The first part of the special was a regularity test. The trick here is to come as close as possible to the set average speed. For the DAF 3300 Double Head, this mainly means holding back. Janus van Kasteren sr. was therefore very happy with the second part of the special stage. That was a navigation test. Janus sr.: “There you can drive as you like. With the power of our DAF we overtook everyone. Really amazing! So beautiful through those dunes and then all those cars past.”
The speed was OK and that ensured that Janus, Thijs and Herman were faster than the fastest car in terms of time measured at the neutralization. That gave a good feeling, but during the mandatory break they had to let all overtaken cars pass again.
In the Dakar Classic, the trucks started behind all the cars and despite the fact that the team had overtaken all the trucks and a large part of the cars, at the restart they had to wait until the cars had left. However, that did not matter much to the men.
Herman Keijsers explains: “This was not a problem for us, rather an extra stimulus. It was really back to the eighties today. Just like in the heyday of Jan de Rooy, we overtook all the cars.” Janus van Kasteren sr. jokingly adds: “Yes, we were just like De Rooy and Harrie Vatanen. That’s Ari’s brother.”
This refers to the iconic images from 1988 in which Jan de Rooy in the DAF X1 can be seen overtaking Ari Vatanen’s Peugeot factory car at full speed. Classic Team DAF overtook all the cars and thus came to the finish line as fastest.
That was a truly unique experience for Van Kasteren, Heezen and Keijsers, with which they revived old times.