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Baja Carmin: New victory for Team Dessoude on Portugal´s season opener.





Team Dessoude signed a new success this weekend on the "Baja Carmin", first round of the Portuguese off-road championship. A real working session in race conditions for the Proto XI (Christian Lavieille) and the Proto Atacama (Frédéric Chavigny).

After the successive cancellations of the "Tunisia Rally" and the "Estoril-Marrakesh", Team Dessoude is building its 2012 season over the latest news. But no way to stop any testing until the next big event, the Silk Way Rally in July.

The Baja Carmin, first round of the Portuguese national off-road championship, became a good option for an interesting working session in real rally conditions with a prologue and a special stage of 300 km without assistance.

Teamchef André Dessoude does not regret this choice because development in race conditions, whatever the race, is a key to progress. "The period we live is difficult. The successive cancellations of two significant events is not easy to further develop the cars. The remaining rallies on the schedule of this first part of the season are very expensive, especially in terms of transportation."

He added: "We chose the Baja Carmin because of its format but also for the participation of Miguel Barbosa on a quite similar car to the Proto XI but with a different engine. The comparison between the petrol and diesel engines seemed interesting. This entry was also significant for the Proto Atacama who needed to be developed and improved."

Taking place in the Algarve area, not far from Pavia, the Baja Carmin began on Saturday with a prologue of 5.7 km ran twice. Miguel Barbosa took the best time ahead of Christian Lavieille, pointing to only 0.6 s of the Portuguese driver. Frederic Chavigny was classified 16th overall.

Next morning, a 300 km stage was scheduled (without any assistance or with assistance directly deducted from the stage time). Christian Lavieille, co-driven by Xavier Panseri, took immediately the right pace but lost after thirty kilometres his main opponent, Miguel Barbosa, after an engine failure.

The French driver made a perfect race and took victory after a unique puncture at the end of the stage. The technical options tested were successful and the Proto XI won for the first time for the delight of its driver who can finally feel the potential of his car.

For Frederic Chavigny this race was primarily intended to validate the different developments on the Proto Atacama. Since the Dakar, the Atacama has a new engine, the Nissan 3.5l V6 of the 350 Z model, and a new AP braking system.

These choices were very positive but unfortunately the front axle bindings broke and the Atacama had to retire halfway. Frederic Chavigny remains still satisfied with this "good working session". Next step: Reliability of the front axle.

As André Dessoude said, a win is always a great time. "I am very happy with this result, of course! In addition, we worked without any pressure and this was much appreciated."

"I regret that Miguel (Barbosa) had to give up early in the race, I would have preferred a good fight because Miguel is an excellent driver. Technically speaking, this test, even short, was very positive. It allowed us to validate many points and to confirm some of our choices. We also made good improvements on the Atacama, a car that remains in development" he finally added.

The next big event for Team Dessoude will be the Silk Way Rally which will be held in Russia. Meanwhile, the team is studying its program from which a new race in Portugal is not excluded.

2012/03/28 | 14:26 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/DESHAYES











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