|Dakar 2010: D-3 for the pugnacious French team Dessoude.|
76 is the number of the day, the number of retirements in this Dakar, which has been one of the more difficult. Dessoude must be counted among the most pugnacious and most reliable teams: There are still three Dessoude cars in the race. For these three, as for their Team Manager and the whole team, the end of every day is a blessing. André Dessoude, kept informed of the progress of his cars by Géraldine Deshayes, waits impatiently at the finish line: One, then two and finally three - all is well for the day.
"The strength of our teams is that they manage to catch up, no matter the problems they encounter" said Dessoude. "The three remaining cars, including the Great Wall on its very first Dakar, have all gone through some misadventures. Unfortunately they have been seriously penalised in the classification and have fallen back. But each time, by willpower alone, the cars have climbed back up. So this evening, even if we could have hoped for a better result, we are still in the race, 3rd and 4th in T2, 1st in the T2 Petrol class, and still in the top 40 - just 3 days to go."
Buenos Aires is at the end of the road, a true human adventure of some 9000 kilometres, which has allowed Team Dessoude to cross the South American continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The crews are now driving without pressure. The terrain will become less hostile for the men and machines, so confidence is rising, that limitless confidence which allows every member of the team to hope to reach the podium at the finish line.
The leading Dessoude team in the overall classification, Fred Chavigny and Jean Brucy are currently 32nd: "There are three stages to go; I know we keep talking about the final countdown, but I must admit it is our aim and as it is approaching rapidly we have decided not to damage the car any more.. So today we drove the stage with pleasure and without any excesses; it was beautiful and varied, with a few potential traps that we carefully avoided - tomorrow there is another redoubtable stage, 796 km long."
Jean-Pierre Strugo and Yves Ferry finished the special stage in the top 30, and completed their third consecutive special stage without incident: "A fine stage, starting at 3000 metres of altitude, where the oxygen is getting rare and means our engines have less power. We got through all the ledges, the ditches, rocky sections and rivers without incident ! I think that to still be classified at the finish of this extremely demanding Dakar will be quite a performance. Those who will be in the final overall classification will really have fought for that place."
The Great Wall Hover of Yong Zhou and Sylvain Poncet also reached the finish line after a calm day, where the main thing was to take care of the car. The situation is clear: Team Dessoude, having crossed the Andes, has decided to be cautious for the end of the rally, keeping a tight grip on their positions.
2010/01/14 | 12:53 CET | Editor: MR/HS