dakar daf truck

DAF Bicefalo and The Bull. Beasts for rent for the Dakar Classic 2022

The eighties were years of excesses in competition. Galloping on wide-open regulations, manufacturers experimented with the limits of piloting. A trend that had its best example in the world of rallying. Surely, the most recurrent sample is the intense and ill-fated Group B. Defined by a notorious lack of prudence, the regulations for these cars made it possible to create true beasts with a delusional power-to-weight ratio. Thus, even the pilots warned about the growing dangers posed by driving vehicles like the R5 Turbo or the Ford RS2000.

A suicidal climb that ended after the death of Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto at the 1986 Rally Corsica. 35 years later, it is still impressive to see the images of the Lancia Delta S4 on fire. The explosion was of such caliber that nothing was left of the bodywork. From the depths of the ravine, only a few parts of the engine and the mess made up of the tubular chassis could be rescued. A tragedy that led to the cancellation of Group B, with the emphasis on properly setting the balance between performance and safety. A dynamic that, just two years later, also had its echo in the Dakar Rally.

Of course, not by reflection; unfortunately a tragedy was also necessary. And the fact is that, supported by a very lax regulation where the most daring prototypes were allowed, teams like Jan de Rooy's had been developing the idea of ​​the rally truck for years. So much so that, in 1988, DAF Turbo Twins reached more than 200 km / h thanks to its two engines with 1200CV in total. Heavy engineering prodigies capable of overtaking the Peugeot 405 T16 by Ari Vatanen in one of the most intense sequences in motorsport history. Audacity that put these trucks to the limit, causing the fatal accident of Kees Van Loevezijn.

Co-driver of one of these DAF Turbo Twins, he was thrown out of the cabin tied to his seat during the six turns of the bell given by the truck after jumping a dune. A terrible moment, from which the Dakar limited both the power and the speed of the trucks. The end point to a line of rally trucks that, during the eighties, generated myths of the arena such as the 1984 Bicephalous or the F3300 "The Bull" 1985. Two trucks being restored by the Team DeRooy for those who want to rent them for the Dakar 2022.

dakar daf truck
Credits: Team De Rooy


The last Dakar Rally saw the inauguration of the Dakar Classic category. A segment of regularity where finally the myths of the test will be given place, being a rolling museum to admire the most veteran models of it. So things, the owners of some of them are putting the batteries to face their mounts with the desert sand. With regard to Spain, we have seen the case of Ignacio Corcuera "Livingstone ”With his Volkswagen Iltis. A successful case, behind which there is a good restoration that has led to the completion of all the stages of this first Dakar Classic.

Encouraged by this news, legendary Dakar Rally teams such as Team De Rooy have reacted for 2022. Of course, delegating to whoever wants to rent the vehicles. Those selected were the 1984 DAF Bicéfalo and the 1985 The Bull, two iconic examples of the golden age of the rally truck. A segment in which the carrier Jan De Rooy was a leader in the eighties, counting with such success that it even had the official support of the DAF brand. Seasoned in the world of industrial transport, this Dutchman spent a good part of his fortune on the Dakar Rally starting in 1981.

Credits: DAF Trucks

That year he entered the competition with his DAF 1800 4 × 4 "Mighty Mac". A 200hp rally truck, followed in 1982 by the 2800hp three-axle DAF NTT 300. With two-rear-wheel drive, Jan De Rooy's taste for increasingly complex prototypes began here. An interest that in 1983 generated the DAF FA 3300 "From Koffer" with all-wheel drive. A vehicle much more effective than its predecessors, managing to be number 34 in the general classification of the Dakar Rally. The preamble to the 1984 and 1985 appearance of Bicefalo and The Bull, transition to the very fast Twin Turbo -1986-1988- that put the end to this golden age of the rally truck.

dakar daf truck
Credits: Team de Rooy


In the world of sand vehicles, the idea of ​​mounting a motor per axle has long been a thing of the past. In fact, to prove it there is the Citroën 2CV Sahara. Manufactured to respond to the mobility needs of the French settlers in colonial Algeria, its two engines ensured a kind of original 4 × 4 where, in addition, if one engine failed due to overheating you could keep pulling the other. Solutions to save your skin in the middle of nowhere, just what is put to the test at the Dakar Rally.

dakar daf truck
Credits: Team De Rooy

However, putting two cabins is already weirder. Reason why DAF De Rooy “Bicephalous”From 1985 is the most visually stunning rally truck ever. Looking at it from the side, you don't know if it's coming or going. And it is that, under each of its two symmetrical cabins is a motor that drives the opposite axis. Together they deliver about 870CV, although they can be used separately in case of breakdown or need for savings. A vehicle as striking as it is intelligent, which could not finish the 1894 Dakar Rally due to bearing failure.

The following year it returned, but as a service vehicle for the DAF F3300 "The Bull". A highly refined rally truck, in which aerodynamics were improved while further exploring the twin-engine design. Yes, with asymmetric power since the front axle went 340CV while the rear did 420. A rally truck much more accomplished than its predecessors, which starred in an excellent performance both in its category and overall. And that despite its more than 10 tons. Who knows, to find out who will rent it for the next Dakar Rally ... Maybe these DAFs by Jan De Rooy will give surprises again.

P.S: On the poster announcing the rental of these trucks for the Dakar Rally 2022, those of Team De Rooy point to the DAF F3300 “The Bull” as the winner of the truck category. This shows that, 36 years later, they still have not assimilated the sanction that left them in second place. Yes it is true that for a few hours he was the winner. However, the 15-hour penalty for improper repairs brought him down to second place in rally trucks and 15 overall.

What do you think?

Miguel Sánchez

Written by Miguel Sánchez

Through the news from La Escudería, we will travel the winding roads of Maranello listening to the roar of the Italian V12; We will travel Route66 in search of the power of the great American engines; we will get lost in the narrow English lanes tracking the elegance of their sports cars; We will speed up the braking in the curves of the Monte Carlo Rally and we will even get dusty in a garage while rescuing lost jewels.


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