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Dakar 2009: A mellow leg for French Eric Vigouroux.

Upon leaving La Serena, French Eric Vigouroux and Alexandre Winocq decided not to take any risks during this 430 km leg, which covered a varied terrain. Despite a few obstacles, they achieved 17th place, and, at Copiapo, they wound up in 21st place in the general ranking. At the finish line, Eric and Alex had black faces, like miners.

"Indeed, the cabin was no longer pressurised, because of a scoop that the mechanics didn't have time to fix after our vehicle landed on its side, and the dust from our own tires was coming inside. It was sometimes unbreathable, and there was a sort of fog constantly floating in front of our eyes" explained Vigouroux.

"Furthermore, since we had a flat tyre 50 km into the special, we quickly decided to drive at our own pace. There was nothing to be gained by attacking, yet everything to lose. Right before the finish line, we got stuck in a sand basin, but Bruce Garland's (Australia) Isuzu quickly pulled us out of this predicament with the tug of a strap. It was crucial that we bring back a fresh vehicle to the mechanics, who had already gone through a lot of trouble the preceding night to get our Hummer back into shape."

The rally finally ended in a large desert region, the Atacama, and the next two legs will feature numerous dunes and off-terrain surfaces: ground that is a perfect fit for the Team Dakar USA's Hummers. "If we can, we'll attack, but we can't forget that our objective is to cross each leg's finish line and to help Robby" concluded Eric Vigouroux.

2009/01/13 | 20:38 CET | Editor: MR/HS/ProSystem

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