|Dakar 2010: Nissan-Team Dessoude will try to climb top 10 again.|
Another special stage with breath-taking scenery, taking place in the north of Chile, between Bolivia and Peru. The performance of the day once again went to the Dessoude Proto of Christian Lavieille and Jean-Paul Forthomme. The two men finished 14th in today’s stage, and have improved their overall classification, where they are now in 12th position.
Starting off very fast this morning, Christian was systematically overtaking cars in the top ten at the various waypoints until his pace slowed: "Quite simply, we stopped to help Neves and his VW, which had rolled. We quickly got out of the car to go and make sure that he and his co-driver were OK. Once we were sure that everything was fine, we rejoined the race. Then towards the end we became aware of a noise at the back of the car. With tomorrow’s stage being the longest of this Dakar, we opted to slow down slightly to take care of the car."
Like many others, Christian and Jean-Paul were surprised by the arrival at the bivouac: "We’ve seen plenty of scenery during our competitions around the world, and are not easily impressed. But that incredible descent with the Pacific in the background was really magical."
André Dessoude is following the progress made by his Proto with great interest: "Two days ago, unfortunately, Christian and Jean-Paul’s progress was brusquely interrupted. The evolution in the performance which corresponded to our race plan had taken them into the top ten. Since then the team has tightened and we are now firmly engaged in the battle for the top ten, and it will be fierce."
32nd on the special stage today, Jean-Pierre Strugo and Yves Ferry had an incident-free day - or nearly. "We started off this morning from 53rd, which was not ideal as we had to drive in the dust. This dust, that the Chileans call the Guadal is fine, dense and gets everywhere in the car. But the most dangerous aspect is that is hides some of the dangers of the road. In the first third of the stage we fought hard to overtake the slower cars and the trucks. It was very long. We had a puncture in the second third, but the final third was very nice." In the overall classification, the pair is continuing to make progress and has gained another few positions.
Frederic Chavigny and Jean Brucy, just like You Zhou and Sylvain Poncet, had a good stage and are continuing their progress in the overall classification. This evening, both crews opted to go to bed early in order to be ready for tomorrow’s stage, which could have a dramatic effect on the classifications. After today’s stage, the drivers of Team Dessoude have gained a total of 21 places over their rivals.
2010/01/08 | 13:09 CET | Editor: MR/HS