|AD Desert Challenge: Rosso and Dessoude strengthens T2-lead in SS04.|
The penultimate leg of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and fourth timed stage, Wednesday’s route took the competitors back into the sea of sand. With sand-dunes as far as the horizon, in the overwhelming heat, conditions were difficult for man and machine alike.
Well accustomed to difficult conditions, Dubai-based French Laurent Rosso once again proved his worth, setting the second-fastest time. With a strong lead in the T2 category, and still lying second overall, the Nissan Pathfinder driver is not letting go.
"Today, once again, it was far from easy. Two or three sections proved to be extremely difficult to get through, but we kept the right pace while holding onto a safety margin" Rosso said. "We did not get stuck at all, which allowed us to finish the stage in a good time behind Novitskiy. That is the key factor on an event like this, as getting stuck really costs you dearly, both in time lost and in terms of your physical exhaustion.
It is extremely hot, over 40°C, which turns the cockpit into an oven. You really have to be in good shape to cope with these conditions, and I was well prepared. Tomorrow will be the final straight, heading towards Abu Dhabi on a well-known route. Quite fast, this stage is nevertheless relatively tricky in certain areas. It’s necessary to take care. We must not make the slightest mistake which could compromise our hopes of getting a really good result."
Still in the T2 category, Joseph Rosso is still continuing to improve, and is currently lying 3rd in the category, and 5th overall. Accompanied by Jean-Marie Lurquin, Joseph is enjoying every day.
André Dessoude is savouring the progress made by Laurent and Joseph Rosso: "The rally is not over yet, but until now Laurent has put in an exemplary performance. He has made the most of the opportunities that presented themselves, and reacted in a very wise manner. If the result is confirmed, Laurent could compete in Tunisia in order to aim for the World Cup. He is perfectly able to win, thanks to his talent and his race intelligence. Quite sincerely, he has a good chance.
As for Joseph, he seems to appreciate his new Patrol and is enjoying himself. Since the Silkway, where we prepared three Patrols for crews from Turkmenistan, the cars have evolved and we have made quite a few improvements. I am very pleased to be able to follow this Desert Challenge and am really very impressed by the skills of the local crews in the sand. You really feel their intense experience of the desert and their instinctive driving skills. It is really very interesting."
2010/04/01 | 19:47 CET | ARTICLE: MR/ARPIZOU