|Dakar 2010: Good moods in the French Nissan Dessoude Team.|
The verdict came Tuesday morning: After monday’s special stage, around 45 cars were missing from the bivouac. Many of the drivers spent the night in the desert, including Isabelle Patissier and Thierry Delli Zotti. A shipwreck in the desert, the buggy remained in the white dunes. Unfortunately, Team Dessoude could only accept that the crew was out of the race.
André Dessoude, in Chile this evening, noted: "Behind the sporting facade of the Dakar, this race remains a human adventure. That which pushes men and machine to their limits. With the unfortunate exception of Isabelle and Thierry, our teams survived the hazards of the desert brilliantly. It should be noted that after just three days of racing, there are already around 45 retirements, which shows the level of the performance and preparation of our team. Everyone is giving their utmost, the mechanics and logisticians having only slept around one and half to two hours for a number of days now. We have no doubts, and just one aim: To finish this event"
Thirteenth at the finish line, Christian Lavieille and Jean-Paul Forthomme have still not got over their misadventures of the day before. Christian, formed in the hard school of motorbikes (a former World Endurance Champion) may not be an electrician, but is definitely a fighter.
"There is no question of giving up, we are still on the pace of the leaders. We had a good stage today, with Jean-Paul doing some good navigation. It was quite technical, alternating ergs and plateaus. This evening, despite the short stage, we have gained one position overall and our firm intention is to continue this progression."
After all the effort, it is now the pleasure which is foremost in Team Dessoude, as for Frédéric Chavigny, who compared his day to the previous one: "Yesterday we had a problem with our radiator, because I made a small driving mistake and damaged it. We were at altitude (nearly 2000 metres), it was really hot and we had to drive for five minutes and stop for ten in order to avoid a total breakdown. Luckily, today we really enjoyed ourselves - the special stage was not long, but varied and interesting. We did some good navigation, the car is OK and we have gained 13 positions in the overall classification - but as always on the Dakar, tomorrow is another day."
Another day too for the second T2, driven by Jean-Pierre Strugo, who also had a good day: "The sprint stage was good, and it also suited my navigator, Yves Ferry, which allowed us to set a good time. We’ve gained 20 places overall and we are fully motivated to hunt down our rivals in the group classification, which I am keeping a close eye on - there is still a long way to go before the finish line."
In the Great Wall, even if the race is hard and full of problems, the crew is zen! The Chinese driver Zhou Yong and his co-driver Sylvain Poncet are still in the race, and are making progress as well in the overall classification. Their aim is also clear: "This is the first time that a Great Wall has taken part in the Dakar, and we are really keen to get it to the finish line."
2010/01/06 | 16:38 CET | Editor: MR/HS/L-Arpizou