|OiLibya Rally of Tunisia: Lavielle Second, 1-2 for Dessoude in T2-class.|
Between Douz and Nekrif, this second stage of the Rally of Tunisia on Monday was not exactly enthralling for the French Christian Lavieille while being rather favorable for the BMW of the Russian Leonid Novitskiy. Over the 289 km timed stage, the Frenchman was able to withstand the attacks from his rival, but lost the lead by 1 minute 22 seconds. The stage was won by Eric Vigouroux and Alexandre Winocq in their Toyo-Tires-Protruck.
There is still a very long way to go, and noone can predict the final result. Christian Lavieille, whose navigator is Jean-Michel Polato, did not really enjoy the day’s programme: "Jean-Louis Schlesser caught up with us after 190 km, but thirty kilometres further on he had a puncture and we got past again. On our side, we had no problems with the tyres because we were very careful. It was fast, but with plenty of rocks" Lavieille told.
"This stage was not really new" he added, "we’ve been over this ground many times in the past. However, the last 25 kilometres were really fun. Jean-Michel was perfect, and today he was feeling better. If Novitskiy does not have any problems, it will be impossible to catch him under normal conditions. But I am optimistic and the fight for the podium will be close."
In T2, the Rosso family managed a one-two, with the father, Joseph, winning the stage. Overall, however, it is Laurent who retains the lead, with a narrow margin ahead of his father. Laurent Rosso and Bernard Irissou were careful today: "I did not want to take any risks on this very rough ground. With a T2 car, it would be stupid to go all out. You have to take care of the car as much as possible in order to get a good final result. We had no problems today, and I am still waiting for the sand."
Joseph Rosso, Guy Leneveu and their Patrol set a good pace and claimed the stage win. "It was not easy, but we tried to stay cool. We set a good pace while taking care of the car. We saw that Varentsov was stuck in the small dunes, and that Ivanov had a puncture. Overall, I am very pleased. We’ll have to see, there are still four stages to go, and not the easiest."
The crew of Georges Macon and Laurent Levêque are making their debut in the sport. The two CEOs have quite simply decided to enjoy themselves. Georges and Laurent are sharing the wheel, a stage each, and alternate between driving and navigating. An incredible experience for these two men from Normandy.
For Georges, the Rally of Tunisia is a real adventure: "I am in heaven! Everything is new and to be quite frank, not at all easy or restful. But I am really enjoying it. Yesterday I was behind the wheel and I really enjoyed the day. Today, navigating, it was very different, but I can’t say that it was boring. You have to be attentive and concentrated, it is rather stressful. But it is great just to be here."
Laurent shares his enthusiasm: "I have to say I prefer driving, but we get on well together and there is no problem to share the wheel. The Pathfinder is nice to drive. And it is incredibly efficient and agile. At the moment, it is a great experience ! Our aim is to finish the rally."
Tuesday they will face a loop around Nekrif, including a 289 km special stage.
2010/05/04 | 14:49 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ARPIZOU