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Dakar 2010: The Eve of the Battles in Buenos Aires for Dessoude.




Busy days for the five Team Dessoude teams, together in Buenos Aires since yesterday. André Dessoude is in charge: "All the drivers, co-drivers and cars have to comply with the administrative, medical and technical scrutineering, scheduled for January 31st. The atmosphere is already incredible. All day today, we have been asked to sign autographs! In total, around 30,000 Argentine spectators gathered around the Dakar competitors.

Our work consists in checking once again the loading of the cars. I am also trying to encourage the exchanges between the crews and the mechanics, in order to perfect the preparations and so that they become automatic. Everyone is very enthusiastic, and is still smiling, even if we can see that the pressure is mounting."

The start of operations is set for 9 am on December 31st. That is when the men and mechanics will be summoned for the meticulous checks allowing them to take part in the 2010 edition of the Dakar. Before receiving the road book, the co-drivers are busy with the cars.

Jean-Paul Forthomme is Christian Lavieille’s navigator, on the Team Dessoude flagship: "I must admit that I don’t see much of the scenery. I have plenty of work to keep me busy. I have to manage the road-book and the maps, in order to call out the dangers ahead and the changes of heading. To help me, I have two GPS systems, which give our position, two Terratrips which allow the distances to be measures, the Irritrack beacon which allows us to announce breakdowns and accidents, but also the Sentinel, which informs us of any overtaking vehicles. Keeping check on all these instruments is far from restful."

Another eminent co-driver is Thierry Delli Zotti, who navigates for Isabelle Patissier: "I have been working on the maps, and looked at all the information from last year, as some stages use similar routes. I also went off looking for information, and it sounds as if many of the tracks have become very difficult due to recent heavy rain. The first two stages will already be difficult, but the third looks to be quite hellish. During the last rally, we took eight hours and fifty minutes to cover 250 kilometres ! My aim is to guide Isabelle while keeping the car in the best possible condition, as it is important to keep it in a good state until the rest day."

The former biker, Jean Brucy, called up as a last-minute replacement, is extremely motivated: "The atmosphere in the Dessoude team is exceptional, and I have a good feeling with my driver. We will get to know each other better out on the route. Yves Ferry, who is teamed up with Jean-Pierre Strugo, is delighted to be in Argentina: "The atmosphere in the team is warm and welcoming. We are working on the final settings for the car. I get on really well with Jean-Pierre Strugo and I can’t wait to get
going."

There is a change of language on board the Great Wall, as the Chinese driver Zhou Yong and the navigator Sylvain Poncet speak English between themselves. But the crew is raring to go: "I am busy putting the final stickers on the door of the Chinese four-wheel drive. It is our first Dakar together, but we are very confident."

Everything is looking good for Team Dessoude, who are ready for the scrutineering checks, and who are looking forward to celebrating the New Year in the Buenos Aires heat...

2010/01/01 | 14:17 CET | Editor: MR/HS/L.Arpizou











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