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Dakar 2010: French Team Dessoude happy about Great Wall Rallycar.




Team Dessoude is now racing in the magnificent and multicoloured landscapes of Chile. Along the South Pacific coast, the team has now crossed the South American continent. Leading the team are Christian Lavieille and Jean-Paul Forthomme. Christian, examining the overall classification closely, looked back over his day: "Today’s menu included shaking and dust, and we were particularly well served. We lost a bit of time due to two punctures, one of which was my personal responsibility. But we are continuing to make progress, this evening climbing three more places - tomorrow we’ll be heading for the saline lakes and the dunes." The Proto is just outside the top ten, and the team is concentrating on this objective.

This is a real locomotive for the other cars, including the Great Wall Hover which is now in 37th position overall. The Chinese four-wheeldrive car prepared by André Dessoude is taking part in its very first Dakar, and this position is already proof of a fine performance. The stated aim of the crew, Yong Zhou and Sylvain Poncet, is to finish the event: "More than anything, we want to get to the finish of the Dakar and therefore we have been working hard. Over the last days we have been gradually improving our position, climbing nearly 20 places in three days, but that is not enough for us.

Effectively, we have a racewithin-a-race with the other Chinese drivers. Yong Zhou is satisfied with his Dakar: "We have worked with André Dessoude to adapt the car for high altitudes. But apart from a few fuel problems, the car is working perfectly. Today we set off at a high pace until we hit a rock which meant we had to stop a number of times to check the transmission. We continued our route and try to remain consistent."

André Dessoude approves of the Chinese driver: "He is fast, calm, methodical and works hard. In the classification of Chinese drivers - he is in the lead. Once again, it was clear that speed alone is not enough. The race is long, it does not take place over one stage but over ten days. My team works without respite and I hope to achieve our aims."

The second-longest stage of the rally was not easy for Jean-Pierre Strugo, who had nevertheless been very fast during the first half of the special stage. He quite literally fell down a two-metre stone step. "I was looking for a passage but was blocked by a truck, a four-wheel drive and a television team, I opted to overtake them by the left side. Unfortunately there was a very impressive step. The nose of the car planted itself in the sand, while the rear was almost vertical. It was difficult to get ourselves out of the car, and even more difficult to get the car out of this position. We managed to bring it back, it is now in the hands of the mechanics who will not have much sleep tonight."

Despite their acrobatics, filmed live by the TV cameras, ‘JP Airways’ nevertheless gained two places in the overall classification. Frederic Chavigny was no luckier today, as he fell victim to a mechanical problem (rear transmission shaft) and was forced to wait for the service truck for repairs. Although delayed, Frédéric and Jean Brucy managed to reach the finish line.

On Wednesday, Team Dessoude has gained an extra member, as André Dessoude, from Normandy, was moved by the accident which befell another man from Normandy, the biker Pierrick Bonnet. As his adventure came to an end alongside the track, André offered him the opportunity to continue the race in his assistance car.

2010/01/07 | 16:52 CET | Editor: MR/HS/L-Arpizou











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