|Dakar Rally 2013: Good day for Team Dessoude - Juke Buggy in the Top 10.|
Since the start, the pace of this 35th Dakar edition goes crescendo. Monday, the third leg between Pisco and Nazca was, once again, near 100% sand-colored with a 243 km stage, even more selective than the previous one. On a breakneck pace, Christian Lavieille and Jean-Michel Polato drove their Buggy Juke at the 9th position of the day, beating some candidates for the final podium.
A significant performance, especially as the Frenchman had started from 31st position behind many trucks, and had erased, mile after mile, difficulties. Hats off to the rookie of the team, Stéphane Wintenberger, navigated by Thierry Delli Zotti, who signs the 25th time, closely followed by the regular, Yves Tartarin. Finally, Frédéric Chavigny and Guy Leneveu, on the Proto Atacama, were able to avoid the big traps of the first miles and move up in the standings, at their own pace.
Decided to forget the disappointment of the day before, where an unfortunate Waypoint gave him a hard time, the crew of 318 Buggy Juke left Pisco this morning highly concentrated. On steep dunes or faster tracks, Christian Lavieille and Jean-Michel Polato never slacken the pace. Thus, after 243 km, grueling but beautiful, the reward was at the end of the track. The Buggy Juke enters the Top 10 of the stage (on 9th position) while many overall contenders have left precious minutes.
Christian Lavieille comes back on this day. "No comparison with yesterday. We started from the 41st position behind many trucks, which was not easy, especially because of the fesh-fesh. We passed them in the dunes where we saw a lot of competitors stuck. Around km 70 we were really on a great pace, and this is probably where we saved time. The scenery was beautiful, especially a steep downhill towards Pacific Ocean and the beach. Incredible!"
"Then we had again fesh-fesh, rocks and ditches. We stayed "quiet" because this kind of trap can be fatal. At the end of the route, there was a small erg not really obvious at all - we have been wise and the good surprise was waiting for us at the finish. Jean-Michel did a great job and stayed focused from the beginning until end. The Juke was perfect. We choose to take care of it at maximum and not to attack like fools. Pushing the car too hard would be a big mistake. We are only at the third stage and the rally is still long."
By taking the 25th place of the stage, the second Buggy Juke of Stéphane Wintenberger and Thierry Delli-Zotti did also a good performance. After two hours lost yesterday to fix a bent hydraulic jack, this day did not have the same flavor. Stéphane seems to appreciate his co-driver.
"I follow with attention all Thierry’s advices and I really enjoy to share this adventure with him. We maintained a good pace throughout the stage and it is with a big pleasure that we did not have to use shovels and sand plates. The scenery was magic, especially towards the ocean. A very beautiful stage. The car performed well and we did not meet any problem. Tomorrow? Tomorrow, is another day."
Yves Tartarin and Christian Poirault took also a good pace and secured the 28th time. Always enthusiastic, Yves thinks of competitors who discover the Dakar.
"I think of the "new ones"... They probably do not really understand what is happening on such a stage. It is not simple at all ! When we left the bivouac this morning, we were in the middle of the trucks and I must admit that I did not feel really confortable. But I'm happy with the 2WD and I learn a little more every day. Until now, I’m not disappointed on such difficult terrain. After the crash of yesterday, the Buggy is not going too badly. I would say that on the rear cover, there are fewer sponsors and more resin.
We had to stop only once today, 2 km from the finish, we got stuck. We stopped near Peruvian spectators. They were brillant, they even gave us cold drinks!"
For Frédéric Chavigny and Guy Leneveu no "shoveling session" today. The crew of the Proto Atacama avoided all the traps of this difficult stage and managed it in the best possible way.
Calm, Frederic knows so well what a Dakar is. No way to hurry! "We go on at our own pace! The car goes well and we try not to hurt it too much. Today, we've deflated at the right time, and that avoid us to be stuck. However, there was enough occasions to stay stuck for a moment. Tonight we move up a little bit in the standings but we are not under pressure. It was a nice and good day!"
2013/01/08 | 16:01 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/DESSOUDE