The world of motorsport is a bit darker again. Jan De Rooy (†80), legend of the prestigious Dakar Rally and challenger to Karel Lopraise (†72), breathed his last on Tuesday, January 30. What was the cause of death of the famous competitor?
Few drivers have left such a legacy in the environment of the Dakar Rally as he did. Jan De Rooy, a former competitor who also chased Karel Lopraise, still pays for one of the most distinctive characters ever to sit behind the wheel of a truck at this renowned event. The fact that with a huge colossus he overtook even more nimble cars at the Dakar can serve as proof!
“After a very short illness our dad, husband and grandfather passed away peacefully and was reunited with our beloved Annie. He dedicated 65 years to his transport company De Rooy, which celebrated its centenary last year.” the family business reported, according to the Dutch website Eindhoven News. De Rooy started his career in the passenger car category.
Except at the request of DAF, which represented him, he switched to trucks. The Dakar Rally of 1987, where he completely dominated, proves that this decision paid off. And so much, isn’t it he overtook the leader of passenger cars at a speed of two hundred kilometers. In addition, he also left Karel Lopraise behind, who lost a hard-to-reach 14 hours to him in second place.
After this triumph, he was given freedom by DAF regarding the preparation of the car for the following year. He bet on the X1 with 1200 horsepower. But it wasn’t the only truck he pointed at. But the second car overturned during one of the stages and the consequences were fatal. The accident claimed the life of navigator Kees van Loevezijn, with driver Theo van de Rijt sustaining injuries. This misfortune struck De Rooy. And really, really well. The successful athlete disappeared from the Dakar Rally environment for 14 long years.
It was only in 2002 that he nodded at the request of his son Gerard. The definitive end of his career came seven years later. What about his son? He celebrated overall first place at the Dakar twice. First in 2012 and then four years later. In addition, he competed with Aleš Loprais, the nephew of the Czech great Dakar.
De Rooy was a fool behind the wheel of the truck