|Dakar 2010: French Team Dessoude is back in the race.|
After their profound disappointment at the retirement of the prototype driven by Christian Lavielle and Jean-Paul Forthomme, team Dessoude restarted their campaign on Monday. As usual, the first to describe his stage was Fred Chavigny. Passionate, but also realistic, and an excellent driver, once again Fred Chavigny had a good day: "Another one over! Every passing day takes us closer to Buenos Aires and the finish line for the Dakar, but it is always difficult - today, for example, was 100% sand! We are competing at a position in the classification where the T1 and T2 cars are just about equivalent, and the fight is intense. At the moment we are leading the T2 petrol category, and we intend to hold on to it."
André Dessoude and the whole team is now focussed on getting the three cars to the finish line in Buenos Aires: "With six days to go before the end of the rally, we already have around 67 retirements. This 2010 edition of the Dakar is therefore very difficult, the cars have suffered and just to get to the end in these conditions is already quite a performance. This evening, the Great Wall Hover and our two T2 cars are still in the race and are maintaining good positions, especially the 1st T2 petrol position for Frédéric."
Further to their incident a few days ago, Jean Pierre Strugo and Yves Ferri no longer have any pressure concerning the overall classification, and are taking advantage of the situation to enjoy themselves: "No problems today, apart from a very minor puncture. We decided to enjoy ourselves, so we are driving at our pace with the sole aim to see Buenos Aires again. Quite a good pace, as the experienced duo did not lose any time, setting the 29th fastest time in the stage, close to the T2 factory cars!"
The Great Wall continues its route; despite showing signs of what it has been through, the crew and their Hover are still in the race. The Chinese four-wheel drive, prepared by André Dessoude, is taking part in its very first Dakar, and is already looking like a rally raid specialist.
For the Great Wall, this Dakar is a real test bed, putting the brand to a real challenge. Sylvain Poncet, Yong Zhou’s French co-driver, thought he would have a problem-free day today: "After six kilometres of the special stage, the temperature warning light came on. It was quite strange, we stopped a first time, and then a second and a third to take care of the engine. All the cars in the rally - or rather in what is left of them - went past us. I was quite annoyed, but Yong was impressively calm. In fact, I get the impression that the worse the situation becomes, the calmer he is! And then the temperature went down, and Yong set off to catch the others, we finished at a fine pace, and we haven’t lost too much time overall."
2010/01/12 | 14:31 CET | Editor: MR/HS/L.Arpizou