|Pharaons Rally: French Team Dessoude is back on the land of the Pharaons.|
The French "Team Dessoude" has entered this 15th edition of the "Pharaons Rally" with three cars. As in 2011, the complete Cinotto family travelled to Egypt. Michele, the father, is driving the Buggy Juke while his two sons, Carlo and Pietro, are entered on two Pathfinders T1 category.
This first leg, between Cairo and Tibniya was full of traps. Carlo was the fastest of the team and signed the 13th time of the day. Michele, who made his first laps driving the Juke in special stage was stuck in the sand for over an hour, but admitted being surprised by the potential of the car.
Unfortunately, Pietro was victim of a competitor stopped in a dune downhill and impossible for him to avoid the contact. Despite the crash, the Pathfinder joined tonight the bivouac and will be fixed by the mechanics of the team. The trio will be complete for the start of the second stage tomorrow morning!
As usual, the start of the Pharaohs Rally was given this morning from Giza, near Cairo, close to the legendary pyramids. A start full of symbols which traditionally marks the start of an unforgettable crossing of the Egyptian desert.
The first leg, between Cairo and Tibniya, was not so easy for all the crews. Even among the top drivers, some of them got strong penalties. A lot navigation, off piste, sand, dunes, all the ingredients of the Egyptian desert were gathered.
In the Dessoude team, Carlo Cinotto was the fastest on his Nissan Pathfinder. No problem to be reported, except 15 minutes stuck in the sand because of a vehicle which braked suddenly in front of him. The young Italian adopted a very regular pace during this first stage. Started from the 30th position this morning, Carlo ended the stage on the 13th position.
Michele Cinotto’s day was a little less quiet. It was much more a test day, driving for the first time the Buggy Juke in race conditions. After only few laps at the wheel of the Juke on a test track in France, driving this two-wheel drive car on the sand remained to be discovered. Despite to be stuck twice for more than one hour, the driver seemed satisfied with the buggy, even surprised of its potential.
Since the Silkway Rally which took place last July, some bodywork changes were made on the Juke and for André Dessoude, this lifting of the front part seems to be working.
Pietro Cinotto will remember this first leg of the Pharaohs 2012. From the beginning of the stage, at km 20, everything could have been finished while he was crossing a dune ... As he was going down, a competitor stuck in the sand just "forgot" to plug in his Sentinel, a procedure which is compulsory during a race.
By reporting a vehicle in bad position, this system allows the next competitor to be aware of the danger. No beep and no physical signs on the dune, Pietro was trapped and could not avoid hitting the vehicle stopped. More fear than harm for the crew but the Pathfinder suffered greatly from this direct contact.
Hood, bumper and headlights were damaged and precious minutes were gone. Fearing greater mechanical damage, the driver then reduced his pace, worried not to be able to reach the bivouac.
Finally, the three cars reached Tibniya and will be able to start on the loop to be held tomorrow. An eventful first leg but the beginning of what awaits the competitors on next stages.
2012/10/02 | 17:21 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/DESSOUDE