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





This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com 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: Team Nissan Dessoude reveals its hand for Tunisia.





André Dessoude is smiling again. After mixed fortunes on the Dakar, he is more motivated than ever, and will enter no fewer than four cars in the 26th edition of the Rally of Tunisia, including three in the Production category. The fourth vehicle in the Saint-Loise team is none other than the former factory car, the Nissan Pickup 05, this time in the talented hands of Christian Lavieille.

For André Dessoude, this first African round of the season (not counting the Dakar) is not the team’s first event of the year: "We started off at a good pace a few weeks ago. We took part in the first rounds of the Bajas Championship in Portugal, in some events in
Russia and also entered the Italian Baja. The result of these races is three wins and a podium - no reason to complain!

Miguel Barbosa, driving the Nissan Pickup 05, claimed a brilliant win in the first round in Portugal, and finished third last week. He led nearly from start to end, but a puncture cost him the win. In the Northern Forest Baja, our Russian client claimed the overall win in the Nissan Pickup 03, as he did in the Italian Baja. These wins have been good for the team morale, and have made us forget some of our disappointment in the Dakar. It is always good to start the season with some wins!

In Tunisia, it will be an excellent test to enter Christian Lavieille in the Nissan Pickup 05. Christian will use the car entrusted to Yvan Muller during the Dakar. We have worked on the suspensions to make some improvements, but globally it will be the same car. We have worked hard so that Christian could take part, and thanks to the support of our faithful partners, the project can get underway. Even if Christian has never driven this car before, I have confidence in his amazing abilities to adapt. The Tunisian route has the right qualities to allow him to get to grips with the car. We can really aim for a good result in the overall classification.

Jean-Louis Schlesser will be the favourite, but if things go our way, we could manage something good. As well as T1, we will enter three cars in T2. We will have three experienced and motivated crews, all of whom will be aiming for victory, with top level drivers : Jean-Pierre Strugo, Paul Belmondo and Laurent Rosso. Our aim in this category is clear: Victory at least, as a one-two-three is quite feasible. The Nissan Pathfinder has proved its worth in the Production category over the years, and is always a safe bet.

The route is quite classic, with the highlight being the El Borma loop, 100% sand, which is often a major factor in the final classification. What makes the Tunisian rally so enjoyable, as well as the convivial atmosphere, is the organisation of the stages. There are a number of bivouacs where the rally stops for two nights, and from a logistical point of view, it is very much appreciated as you can work in the best possible conditions. I am impatient for the rally to get underway."

The start will take place on Sunday April 1st, with two special stages in Corsica. This is a new feature: The rally will take a short detour to the Beautiful Island before reaching Tunisia on Monday morning. The first bivouac of the rally will take place at Douz, after a 506 km leg. But beforehand, the competitors will have to go through technical and administrative scrutineering, which will take place on March 29th and 30th in Brignolles.

2007/03/30 | 15:39 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Dessoude






















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