|OiLibya Rally of Tunisia: T2-Win and second T1-Place for Team Dessoude.|
The final stage of the Rally of Tunisia, between Ksar Ghilane and Douz, saw another fine performance from the Dessoude Proto. Christian Lavieille set the second-fastest time and gained eight minutes on Jean-Louis Schlesser. Unfortunately, it was not enough for the French driver to regain the lead in the overall classification, meaning that for the fourth year in a row he finished on the podium. A fine second place, but one which has left a slightly bitter taste for the St-Lô team, after the penalty they received the day before.
Everything could have changed in the white dunes of El Faouar, but a violent sand-storm Friday morning reduced visibility this morning. Pushing hard, Christian Lavieille placed the bar high for the blue buggy over the 132 km timed stage. He gained eight minutes, but it was not enough to overturn the situation.
"The weather conditions could have changed everything" said Lavieille. "In the small dunes, we caught up with Jean-Louis, but I did not want to take too many risks. And the tailwind was really increasing the temperature. Four years on the podium, and still no win. To err is human, and I am not blaming Jean-Michel, I could have made a mistake too. But I have regrets, that is certain. In order to win, you must not make any mistakes. We made a mistake, Novotskiy made a mistake, and Jean-Louis did not. These last two stages were very typical rally raid stages. We were very satisfied with the car. The evolution in terms of the suspensions is definite, and yesterday’s special stage, in the dunes, where we were really shaken, proved this. We have also gained drive. Bravo and my thanks to the whole team."
In Production, Laurent Rosso had a perfect race behind the wheel of his Pathfinder. Increasing the pace when necessary, while remaining cautious. "Our aim was the podium, and we achieved our goal! We were very careful at the start of the race, then took the lead from the second stage. After that, we just managed our advantage. Bernard’s navigation was perfect, and we never even had to get out the planks and shovels. My only regret is that there was not enough sand. Moreover, we have scored more points towards the World Cup. I am really pleased to have won in Tunisia."
After the son - the father! Joseph Rosso brought his Nissan Patrol home after a few sessions with the shovels. "After losing 40 minutes in the second stage, we were slightly handicapped in the overall classification. Today, we wanted to beat Laurent - but we missed again. The car is excellent, but the T2 regulations mean that we have to keep the original running boards. Going through the dunes, the Patrol turns into a boat. It is quite a handicap. I was expecting a bit more sand, and we were a bit unlucky. But I am pleased to be on the podium !"
It was a difficult day for the Macon-Levêque crew. Georges was on navigation and Laurent was behind the wheel, but the sand storm caused some disruption. Slightly lost, they became disoriented. Once the panic subsided, they found themselves pointing in the wrong direction, and after some hesitation, the red Pathfinder set off on the right path! "It was an incredible experience and today was the highlight. We won’t forget this rally, either of us. We had an amazing time all week !"
2010/05/08 | 13:24 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/DESSOUDE