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Pharaons Rally 2007 Special-Newssection (FIM Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Pharaons Rally 2007, 5th 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.

Pharaons Rally: Christian Lavieille further increases his lead.

Not a single problem in the Dessoude clan today, when the day was spent, as explained by the ‘boss’ yesterday, validating some settings on the Nissan Navara 05. This explains Christian Lavieille’s five-minute stop at the service area. Without any regrets, he let Polish driver Holowczyc claim the stage win. However, in the overall classification, the Frenchman’s Nissan Navara 05 has a one-hour lead over the Overdrive vehicle. As for the ‘girls’, they shared the driving today, with Mélanie taking the start and Carole crossing the finish line. A real team, sharing both the good moments and those spent digging out the car.

The dreaded loop around Siwa turned into a simple formality for the crew of Lavieille and Borsotto - fields of sand dunes were crossed at a high pace, despite the potential traps they hid. Christian Lavieille continued his life-sized test session behind the wheel of his Nissan Navara 05: "It was a bit difficult to get going today, and it took me a few kilometers to get the right pace for this sort of terrain. I felt as if we weren’t making any progress, which was not the case. We started off with different suspension settings from those we used yesterday, and which were much more efficient over this sort of ground. Yesterday, we decided, along with André Dessoude, to make a stop at the service area, in order to disconnect the anti-roll bars. This allowed us to gain power over this sort of stage, but would not have been advisable over rough ground.

At the end, we drove quite calmly, and Holowczyc overtook us five kilometres from the finish line. There was a lot of sand, but we crossed fewer dunes than yesterday. We went over some sand domes, really round, but which were hiding some freshly-broken areas. The stage was generally fast, and the pace was high. It should be noted that François was not sick today!"

Everyone in Team Dessoude is in a good mood, and there is generally a convivial atmosphere, just like in the only all-female team in this rally. Carole Montillet and Mélanie Suchet opted to share the driving in their Nissan Pathfinder on this loop.

Mélanie took the start, and Carole took over later: "In the first part, we lost quite a bit of time because we got stuck - both our front and rear axles were in the sand, and it took us nearly 45 minutes to get out. We also had a puncture at the end of the stage. In all, the car is very different from the T2 we were using in the Dakar. Generally, we have a positive feeling for the car, and the performance is definitely up a notch. The car is more stable, and the gearbox gives us more confidence. Quite honestly, we are really enjoying the experience, and we feel that we are making progress, not only on the driving side, but also in our technical knowledge. It’s really great!"

Tomorrow, the competitors in this 10th edition of the Pharaons Rally will leave the superb Siwa oasis to head east, back towards Cairo, where the finish will take place on Saturday. In the meantime, the next bivouac will be back in Sitra, after a 365 km leg, alternating cathedral dunes, rocky sections and fesh-fesh.

2007/10/04 | 10:38 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Nissan Dessoude

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