|Dakar 2010: André Dessoude - "We want to reach the finish".|
During the briefing, André Dessoude had given instructions to the drivers on taking care of their vehicles. The aim is now to maintain position and to reach Buenos Aires. In the rally-raid language, the word used is to ‘insure’. Yesterday, the Dessoude drivers spent most of the day in the Top 20, no matter what the terrain. They definitely ‘insured’ their positions, but not necessarily according to their boss’s recommendations.
When looking at the classifications, André has to admit that his crews are going strong at the end of this event: "The list of retirements looks more like an entry list. There were only 59 cars who took the start this morning, we now want to reach the finish. To get to the end is already a very good performance, and I hope that they will take care!"
Like in all groups, you need a leader, and today it was "HSS" - High Speed Strugo, who set the pace for the Dessoude race. At the seven intermediary points, JP was at the very most in 21st position, close to the T2 leaders: "The second part of the Dakar is much better and we are having day after day of problem-free racing. We did today at our own pace.. We did insure our position ! Tomorrow could be awkward, but we are confident."
"The day started in canyons at the foot of the Andes, and then it became faster. The most surprising thing was the crowds. They appeared as soon as we went through the dead dunes, some must have spent the night out there to wait for us. The Argentines have obviously been following the Dakar and the return to Buenos Aires is going to be amazing."
Frédéric Chavigny and Jean Brucy made progress too, gaining another two places in the overall classification, into the Top 30 just ahead of Jean-Pierre. They are maintaining their position on the T2 podium and their leadership of the T2 Petrol class : "Today, the car was perfect, we set a good pace and we enjoyed ourselves. Another stage with varied landscapes and many traps. It suited me, and at the finish we were all within a minute of each other, which was quite unusual. We were impressed by the arrival in Mendoza but also San Rafael: There were people everywhere, it was quite crazy!"
But the best Team Dessoude driver of the day was Zhou Yong, along with Sylvain Poncet, in the Great Wall, who set his best special stage performance so far with a promising 20th position. This performance allowed him to improve to 35th in the overall classification, when he was 120th on the first day of the rally. Despite all its adventures, the Great Wall and its Franco-Chinese crew have improved by 85 places - not bad for their first time!
2010/01/15 | 13:56 CET | Editor: MR/HS/L.Arpizou