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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









Dakar 2009: Team Nissan Dessoude France Dakar 2009 Presentation.








A few weeks from the start of a new-look Dakar, "relocated" to another continent, the French Nissan-Team Dessoude is preparing for the event with as much professionalism and detail as always. The cars are ready to begin their 21-day sea trip to Buenos Aires, from where the Dakar Argentina-Chile 2009 will both start and end. New horizons, new scenery, new difficulties, but still the same motivation for Teamchef André Dessoude who will be taking part in the most legendary of long-distance races for the 27th time.

"Technically, we are ready. The race and assistance vehicles are ready for the long journey that will take us to the other side of the Atlantic. The lack of prior knowledge of what exactly awaits us means that we have had to be even more careful than usual. Even if our team has taken part in the Por Las Pampas Rally in Argentina on a number of occasions, the Dakar is always ‘another story’" he said.

"The 05 Proto will be in the hands of Christian Lavieille once again. Having won the Rally of the Pharaons Rally in Egypt twice, as well as plenty of podiums, and having been involved in its development, Christian begins to have significant experience behind its wheel, and can perfectly get the best out of the vehicle. The Proto has been made more reliable and has made significant progress, especially in the suspension.

Even if the factory teams are out of reach, if he manages his race perfectly, Christian could claim a top-ten finish. There is no point aiming for the podium places, up against the Diesels. All the petrol engines will be at a real disadvantage at altitude, and the Diesels will have the upper hand. The loss of power could be considerable. We have worked on a special engine mapping for altitude, but we will not be able to regain all the horsepower we will lose. There is no miracle cure, this loss is a mathematical reality with such an atmospheric pressure. Christian has fully understood the need to be ‘careful’ and not to put himself under any unnecessary pressure. I trust his motivation and his determination. The start of the race should be fast, but the difficulties will soon follow. It will be necessary to be crafty, and I know that Christian can be crafty when he needs to be."

Dessoude will have a Russian team that will be driving a Pickup 03. The vehicle belongs to the driver, Pavel Loginov, but it has been totally rebuilt. During the race, Pavel will have his own mechnics who will follow the Dessoude team’s advice. Even if he is not very experienced, he seems to be calm and to have his feet firmly on the ground.

Jean-Pierre Strugo remains faithful to the T2 category. There is no poin briefing "Jipé" before the start, he briefs himself with an impressive running plan, a ritual he always follows and which always proves to be efficient. His race plan is always exemplary. This year he will be back with Yves Ferri as a navigator. As in T1, the T2 Pathfinders will suffer at altitude compared to the Toyota Turbo.

The second T2 team will be made up of race "rookies", whose main aim will be to reach the finish line. Frédéric Chavigny and Stéphane Singery are real fighters, motivated and keen. Sensible and mature CEO’s, who should share the driving.

As far as the equipment is concerned, Dessoude will have four race vehicles, a fast assistance T4 truck, two 6X6 T5 trucks, A Unimog truck for the logistics and two assistance Patrols. "It is quite a handicap to have the cars leaving so early due to the long sea trip, as is the late return. It will be necessary to find work for the staff in the workshop for the months of December and February. I was rather worried about this situation, but finally there is plenty of work to be done to prepare other cars for next season" said André Dessoude.

Loginov, Pavel / Shubin, Kyrill (RUS), Nissan Navara T1

A Russian driver, Pavel Loginov is facing his third Dakar participation, including 2008 which was "abandoned" for the reasons of which all are aware. In 2007, this driver, who is a regular in races across the steppes, took part in his first major African adventure with a Nissan Patrol. For a first attempt, the bet paid off, and Pavel reached the Rose Lake in 65th position. A fine performance for this attentive, hard-working driver.

Even if he is not very experienced, Pavel is calm and had a certain sense of reality. Unlike many of his compatriots, who tend to have a fiery temperament, he sees things in a more rational way. A sensible attitude as a Navara 03 is not a Patrol. Having recently acquired his Navara 03, Pavel handed it over to the workshops belonging to the ‘Wizard of Saint-Lô » in order to have the preparation totally reviewed. A team of Russian mechanics will be on the field to train on this vehicle, and will be helped by the Dessoude personnel, who will have a follow-up and advisory role.

Pavel’s navigator will be Kyrill Shubin who is taking part in his first Dakar.

Lavieille, Christian / Forthomme, Jean-Paul (F), Dessoude Proto N05

After two consecutive victories in the Pharaons Rally in Egypt, and some fine podium finishes, Christian Lavieille will take part in the Dakar with the Proto Dessoude 05 for the first time (further to the cancellation of the 2008 edition). Extremely motivated, the driver from the Var region knows that this "Transatlantic" Dakar will reveal plenty of new hazards, in the true Dakar tradition. With a new navigator, Jean-Paul Forthomme, Christian is not putting himself under any unnecessary pressure:

"Jean-Paul will be my navigator for the first time. Please don’t think I "wear out" my navigators after just one race (laughs), but Jean-Michel Polato, with whom I won the last Pharaons Rally, had already entered with Dominique Housieaux and was not available. Jean-Paul is experienced: "I have no doubts on that account. Of course it will take us some time to adapt, but I am confident. I am happy to change continents and to discover new horizons. We will be setting off into the unknown, to some extent, and I like that. It’s rather the same feeling as when I won the Transsyberia Rally this summer. When you have no pointers, and little or no knowledge of the terrain, your approach is different. Every day is full of new discoveries, as well as new parameters to manage."

"The Proto 05 has reached a satisfactory level of reliability and over three years there have been no serious mechanical problems. We worked well in Egypt to make things even more reliable, and took a big step forwards. The progress made on the suspensions is amazing. I am now impatient to see the effect on a marathon-type rally. Just a few more weeks to wait - and as André Dessoude commented, on the Dakar 2009, we will have to have "patience" he added.

"The team is extremely motivated and has prepared a fine vehicle, with a brand new engine. As far as physical training is concerned, I have not stopped. I run, as well as cycling and racing my bike, especially on the Castellet circuit for ‘club’ days and driving lessons. Next stop: Buenos Aires."

Chavigny, Frédéric / Singery, Stéphane (F), Nissan Pathfinder T2

Passionate about Cross-Country vehicles, Frédéric Chavigny and Stéphane Singery have, like many people, dreamt of the Dakar for many years. But for these two heads of industry, the time needed to compete in such an event has always been lacking. Today, the project is finally being realised.

Taking the wheel of a T2 Nissan Pathfinder, these two exceptional fighters will be taking part in a high-level motorsport event for the first time. Stéphane did the Dakar in an assistance crew at the time of the "pioneers" back in 1985, when he was taking part in a number of endurance events on trials bikes and motorbikes. Competing in various outdoor extreme sports, he is an experienced cross-country driver. Having lived on the African continent for five years, organising safari excursions for friends totally by himself, Stephane has covered plenty of kilometres off-road and on tracks. He is also a pilot, which makes him a good navigator.

The plan is for the two friends to share the driving, but there is no strict plan on the matter, which will happen naturally. Frédéric Chavigny has also plenty of experience behind the wheel and in endurance matters. Having lived in the East for many years for professional reasons, he covers tens of thousands of kilometres every year. This former marathon runner with a strong character - described as "volcanic" by his teammate - is extremely determined to get to the end of this adventure. As both of them know Argentina and Chile, they can visualize the terrain that awaits them. With no particular apprehensions for what awaits them, the only unknown factor remains to see their ability to cover a 500 km special stage at a high pace.

Strugo, Jean-Pierre / Ferri, Yves (F), Nissan Pathfinder T2

The French Jean-Pierre Strugo is, in his own way, quite a "legend". Faithful to the production category since it began, this unstoppable lover of the Dakar will be facing his 25th participation in the event. "Jipé" has gone through all the eras of this mythical race and has seen plenty of changes and evolutions. This year, he will see another major difference with a change of continent. And if his apprenticeship was difficuilt (his first four participations ended in retirement) the man has progressed since then - and what progress. His career record speaks for itself: World Champion in the T2 Category (which was then called T1) in 1996, 2000, 2001 and 2003, he has also distinguished himself on the Dakar, claiming three wins (1996, 2000 and 2003), always in his favourite class.

A nonpareil when it comes to the management of his races, "Jipé" never panics and is able to be patient when necessary. Even if a number of new talented drivers are appearing in the class these days, Jean-Pierre Strugo is still determined as his aim is the same as ever: To win!

He will be driving with his faithful navigator Yves Ferri, who had stepped aside for the 2008 event for professional reasons. But as the Dakar was cancelled, Yves did not miss an episode of the "Jipé" saga.

With a tried and tested car, the Nissan Pathfinder, within a team who has claimed plenty of wins in the category, the duo of Strugo and Ferri have all that it takes to fight at the top level. The only small shadow on the horizon is the terrain specific to South America, and more specifically the altitude, which will penalise the petrol cars compared to the Diesel engines.

2008/11/27 | 15:08 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Lydie Arpizou






















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