|OiLibya Rally of Tunisia: The countdown is on for Nissan Team Dessoude.|
A few days before the start of the OiLibya Rally of Tunisia 2010, French Team Dessoude is ready for the next round of the World Cup. No longer visiting Lybia, the event is now totally within the Tunisian territory. If a first glance reveals that the route is shorter than before (1800 km in six stages), it remains nevertheless extremely intense. Between Tunis and Douz, where the event will finish on May 7th, there are potential traps and difficulties all the way.
The Team is entering four crews, two in T1 and two T2 vehicles. Christian Lavieille and Jean-Michel Polato (winners of the Pharaons Rally 2008), on the Nissan Proto N05, will be keen to do just as well as they did in 2009. The driver from the Var region of France had finished the event in a magnificent second place. Despite heavy competition, most notably with BMW, Christian is serene and well-prepared.
The father- and son-team Laurent and Joseph Rosso will be enlivening the T2 category. Having finished second overall and winning the T2 category in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with the Nissan Pathfinder, Laurent Rosso has notched up precious points in the World Cup classification. With a car he knows well, the Frenchman is not in Tunisia for a courtesy visit, but to aim for top.
His navigator will be Bernard Irissou, winner of the Production World Cup in 2004 alongside Isabelle Patissier. Joseph Rosso also shone in the Emirates a few weeks ago. Fourth overall with his Nissan Patrol, he will be able to count on Guy Leneveu (Laurent Bourgnon’s former accomplice) to give him the pace.
Finally, on a T1 Pathfinder, Georges Macon and Laurent Levêque will have their first taste of competition in Tunisia. A first rally, for which they have set themselves one goal: To get to the end.
For the Teamchef André Dessoude, the 2010 edition of the Rally of Tunisia looks relatively good: "I am already very happy that this rally is going ‘back to its roots’, meaning no more Libya. With a shorter format and more sprint-like stages, the sporting side should regain the ascendant" the French said.
"Our team has good hopes for this event, both in T1 and T2. For Christian Lavieille with the Proto 05, a good result is quite possible. Over the last three events he has improved gradually, finishing 4th in 2007, then 3rd and 2nd last year. The crew and the car both belong in the top three.
In T2, if Laurent Rosso finishes first or second, he will have a real chance at the World title. He is a consistent driver who knows how to manage his races. He has a good chance. Joseph, his father, could also manage a good result with the Patrol. As for the fourth crew, this will be something of a baptism of fire. Georges Macon and Laurent Levêque will discover, in a few days, the rally raid world from a different angle, going from spectators to actors. The only goal we have set is that they should finish the event and enjoy themselves."
From Saturday, the competitors will all meet up in Tunisia for technical and administrative checks, followed by a prologue on the La Marsa beach. On Sunday morning, the first stage will take the competitors to Douz.
2010/04/28 | 15:53 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ARPIZOU