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Sealine Rally Qatar: Yazeed Al-Rajhi rejoins Toyota Overdrive Tam in Qatar. | 19.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah to compete in a Mini All4 Racing. | 16.04.2014


Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014


FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: QMMF announces route for Sealine Cross Country rally. | 14.04.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Czech Loprais Tatra team now together with Buggyra Tatra. | 14.04.2014













































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The "Double Dutch" Citroen-Toyota - or "how to stand out from all the others".




By Robb Pritchard Problem: You are going to enter top-class off-roading competitions and you want your team to stand out from all the others. What do you do?

Possible answers: Manage to somehow win against all the odds. Design a striking livery or an eye-catching paint scheme, make good friends with (or bribe) all the media. All these methods are tried and tested, but if you are a Dutchman by the name of Rene Van Velthoven, then there is another way to get yourself noticed: Create an outrageous vehicle!

And they don’t come more outrageous than a bright yellow Citroen DS body mounted on a Land Cruiser chassis. As my doctor repeatedly tells me, there is a thin line between genius and madness and this bizarre beast has two 33’ BF Goodrich A/ts on each side of it - meet the D-Crosser!

So, the first question is why did they end up with such a bizarre hybrid monster?

"Well," says Rene with a confident voice that didn’t sound like someone who’d stopped taking their medication. "We had two aims to start with for whatever we were going to build. It had to be reliable and light. Our first car was an 88’ Land Rover with a 3.9 V8, but all we learnt in this car is how many things it is possible to break. And if you ask anyone what is the strongest and most reliable 4x4 in the world, if he’s not from England of course, he will tell you a Toyota Land Cruiser! We also run a Land Cruiser spare parts business, so the base vehicle is a HDJ 80."

"The Toyota body though, is designed for expeditions, so it’s just too big and heavy for sport. With my good friend Nard we run a Peugeot and Citroen workshop in Holland and Nard had experience with off-roading 2cvs before so this is why we started thinking like this. The 2cv on a Range Rover chassis has been done before though, but then we found a DS body and took it the idea from there. It’s a good way to combine the two companies!"

Two and a half years after the initial plan was conceived this labour of love is out and racing, but of course creating such a unique vehicle from two very different donors, threw up some unique problems for the team to solve. "The chassis and body didn’t fit together," says Rene. "But of course it was important to keep the original geometry of the Toyota suspension and drive train." So it was the body that ended up getting the brunt of the angle-grinding treatment.

"It was too long and the back of a DS body tapers thinner so that the rear wheel arches weren’t wide enough to cover the back axle. It took a lot of measurements and a lot of work to get this right because the DS has such a peculiar shape and we wanted to be sympathetic to the original curves. The way we did it was to cut it in half, shortened it to fit by losing the back doors and taking some length out of the roof and after a lot of fabricating widened the rear arches so that they fitted over the back wheels. This allowed us to create the side air scoops you see so that we can run ducts down to cool the rear axle."

The 4.2l Land Cruiser engine is not the lightest competition engine in the world, but remarkably the D-Crosser tops the scales at a very trim 1850kg. With a fuel pump from a 24 valve engine and an intercooler from a 100 Series Land Cruiser it also produces a serious amount of torque. The Mercedes fuel tank over the back axle and spare wheel shoe-horned into the boot gives a very enviable weight distribution ratio of 50/50 and so you start to see that this isn’t just some bizarre looking oddity trundling around at the back of the field for a bit of comedy effect. Despite what some people’s first impressions are it really is a well-designed out-and-out racer.

"But we’re still learning, both with ourselves as driver and co-driver and about how to get the best out of the car. Soon we plan to install a data logger so we can start to develop the set-up and we’ll also be upgrading the suspension to competition spec."

Currently the Dutch Championship is where the D-Crosser is being tested but it was built to FIA specifications so the Baja World Cup is on the horizon and so is one day the holy grail of off-road competitions - the Dakar Rally. "Why not? We know what we can do and what the car can."

But there is one issue standing in the way of Rene’s Rally Raid world domination: "We spent our own time and money to get to where we are now - but the bigger competitions are harder and we’ll need to take more support - which costs money that we don’t really have. And I’m not ready to sell any of my children for this just yet!"

As you can see from the photos, as beautifully eye-catching and curvaceous as the D-Crosser’s body is - it does look a little bare. What a fantastic place for some sponsor’s stickers!

2011/06/15 | 14:28 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/PRITCHARD












Sealine Rally Qatar: Yazeed Al-Rajhi rejoins Toyota Overdrive Tam in Qatar. | 19.04.2014 15:48 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: After a short break, four X-raid Mini are back in action | 19.04.2014 15:24 | NEW




Donaldson CC: Tovey first footballer in Imperial Auto Celebrity Challenge | 19.04.2014 15:08 | NEW




Hungarian CC: Second race, second win for Polish Chevrolet at Turkeve Cup | 16.04.2014 19:50 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah to compete in a Mini All4 Racing. | 16.04.2014 19:22 | NEW




Breslau Rally VIDEO: Official trailer of the legendary Breslau Rally Poland 2014 | 15.04.2014 23:08 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: The Lion is back - Peugeot 2008 DKR presentation | 15.04.2014 23:05 |




Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014 20:06 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Dakar Tour stopped in the Netherlands with Cyril Despres | 15.04.2014 19:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014 19:05 |




Hungarian CC VIDEO: Short impressions Turkeve Cup - Nissan Qashqai Proto | 15.04.2014 18:53 |




Hungarian CC: Double bad luck for Hungarian Solyom Team at Turkeve Cup | 15.04.2014 18:41 |




Australasian Safari: Competitors from all around the globe - Rallysafe System | 15.04.2014 18:13 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: Tatra-Union - Loprais and Buggyra Dakar Forces | 15.04.2014 17:39 |




FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014 17:38 |




Sealine Rally Qatar: QMMF announces route for Sealine Cross Country rally. | 14.04.2014 17:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Marc Coma - "We fought until the last kilometer" | 14.04.2014 17:11 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D5 in Abu Dhabi | 14.04.2014 16:24 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Summary Vasilyev Mini All4 Racing Team | 14.04.2014 16:19 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Kazakhstan Teams Interview Sven Quandt | 14.04.2014 16:13 |




TORC 2014: Kleiman adds second Truck 2014 - keeps busy at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 15:55 |




TORC 2014: Canadian two-truck team Sle Co Race had a challenging weekend | 14.04.2014 15:47 |




TORC 2014: Cenni wins season opener - Kvamme gets first career podium | 14.04.2014 14:26 |




TORC 2014: Hoek welcomes Nitto & Trailready with solid start at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 14:19 |




Defender Challenge: Race2Recovery take top step on Defender Challenge RD2 | 14.04.2014 13:45 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Four Overdrive Toyota in the final Top 10 | 14.04.2014 13:18 |




Formula Off-Road: Robby Gordon wins round 3 in front of Venezuela´s EJ Viso | 14.04.2014 12:54 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Czech Loprais Tatra team now together with Buggyra Tatra. | 14.04.2014 11:17 |




Pharaons Rally: X-raid back in Egypt, the stages of the Egyptian Rally 2014. | 14.04.2014 10:41 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Vasilyev/Zhiltsov and Mini winning in Abu Dhabi. | 10.04.2014 15:31 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Surprising ADDC victory for Paulo Goncalves. | 10.04.2014 14:59 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D4 in Abu Dhabi | 10.04.2014 10:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of SS03 by Team Matzker | 10.04.2014 10:41 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: 1-2-3 for the X-raid Minis, 4-5-6 for the Toyotas. | 10.04.2014 10:14 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Coma leading, Sunderland mechanical problems. | 10.04.2014 08:38 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Joan Barreda wins SS4, Marc Coma new leader. | 09.04.2014 13:57 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Riding the dunes with Vasilyev / Zhiltsov | 09.04.2014 02:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Vasilyev/Zhiltsov - with "support" of Schlesser | 09.04.2014 02:23 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: "Youngster" Ollie Lloyd climbed 13th pos overall | 09.04.2014 01:20 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Impressions SS03 of Kazakhstan Teams | 09.04.2014 00:47 |




















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