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Optic 2000 Tunisia 2007 Special-Newssection (FIM Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Optic 2000 Tunisia Rally 2007, 1st round of the FIM Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Optic Tunisia: French Nissan Team Dessoude in the top three

It was in Corsica, in front of a crowd of real Motorsport fanatics, that the 26th edition of the Rally Optic 2000 got underway Sunday morning. It proved to be an interesting start to the event, before they all head tomorrow for the African continent. A winding route through the heart of the Corsican maquis, where two timed sectors set the tone.

On the first sector, Baja-style, it was the Portuguese driver Grancha who set the best time, ahead of Christian Lavieille, discovering his Nissan Pickup slightly hesitantly. On the second timed sector, Christian was only 15 seconds behind the favourite on this rally, Jean Louis Schlesser, who set the fastest time.

Overall, the Nissan Pickup is 3rd. A cautious start for the former Endurance Motorbike World Champion: "We’re off! I tried the car this morning for the first time, and I must say that I am impressed. I was very careful on this winding route. On the first part, the rocks were a problem, and on the second, I put too much braking at the rear. It’s only just beginning, and I must learn to tame this beast! I can’t wait to see how the Nissan Pickup behaves in the major African stages, over its favourite terrain."

As for the T2 category, as expected, Team Dessoude and its Nissan Pathfinder vehicles rapidly gained the advantage, and this evening Laurent Rosso is in the lead, having set the two fastest times, ahead of Jean-Pierre Strugo. Paul Belmondo, very cautious, is in lying in wait.

André Dessoude, delighted to see the rally get underway, is currently satisfied with his troupes: "Christian adapted very quickly to the Pickup. We are on the pace, and that is good. We didn’t have any problems with the four cars, no technical is sues, and all the drivers are in an excellent mood! It is great to work in conditions like these. Tomorrow, the ‘serious’ work gets underway."

During the technical and administrative verifications on Saturday at Brignoles (France), the competitors in the Rally of Tunisia were delighted to meet the Cycling Champion Richard Virenque. Accompanying his neighbour Paul Belmondo, Richard Virenque did not hide his interest in this area of the sport, and had a long discussion with André Dessoude: "We met Richard a year ago, and already discussed his interest for rally raid. Along with Paul, he came to see us and we have once again had discussions about an eventual future participation in an event. Nothing is decided to date, but things are well underway."

Something to follow up: Team Dessoude has included and still includes a number of major sporting personalities from other sports, including Christian Lavieille, Carole Montillet, Mélanie Suchet and Isabelle Patissier.

2007/04/02 | 12:08 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Dessoude

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