|SA-Dakar Rally: André Dessoude - "Peru is within sight for Team Dessoude".|
On the attack all day, the Dessoude teams fought well to arrive safely wednesday evening in Arica. This final Chilean special stage gave Thierry Magnaldi his best result of the event so far. As for Jihong Zhou, he continues to show his skills, and is now just outside the Top 20. And now, the team from Normandy are heading for Peru!
"This time, we're nearly there, Peru is within sight for Team Dessoude." This was one of André Dessoude's cherished ambitions, which has finally been achieved. For this, the teams had to fight once again with a very rough track, which proved fatal to quite a few competitors. Despite everything, the atmosphere remains excellent. André Dessoude's troupes cannot hide their delight at taking part in tomorrow's stage, which should, quite probably, go down in Dakar history.
As far as the classifications are concerned, the results are generally satisfactory, with most notably Thierry Magnaldi's Buggy not far from the top 10, proving his speed. Chinese Jihong Zhou continues to amaze all observers. For his very first Dakar, the Chinese driver is coping well with the distances, and always finishes towards the top of the classification. The quote of the day goes to André Dessoude: "It is getting harder and harder, and we have lost count of the sleepless nights, but we will go on to the end!"
One special stage follows another, but unfortunately for Isabelle Patissier and Thierry Delli Zotti (28th), they are not all alike. Setting off at an excellent pace to aim for a good result, the buggy probably hit a rock in the rough terrain which ended up breaking part of the steering. Luckily for Isabelle, Thierry Delli Zotti is not only an excellent co-driver but is also an unrivalled mechanic, who was able to find a solution without having to wait for the fast service truck. A solution which allowed them to finish the special stage while losing the least possible time for an incident of this nature.
A tailor-made stage for Thierry Magnaldi (17th), who had already shown what he could do yesterday... At one point, Magnaldi was lying 11th in the special stage and was heading towards the top ten, leading the two-wheel-drive category and the buggies. However, at the end of the stage, he had to be content with 19th position. In the dunes, he suffered a problem with the re-inflating tube, the buggy got beached in the sand... the whole operation took 30 minutes... That's the Dakar...
A more difficult day for the Chinese crew, who suffered from rear brake problems towards the end of the special stage (21st Overall). They had to alter their pace and lost a few minutes. Despite everything he finished in the top 30 and is now lying just outside the Top 20 in the overall classification.
"Even if the landscapes are magnificent, I have to admit now that it is difficult. The Dakar is quite formidable; it really wears out the machinery and leaves its mark on those taking part. More and more are withdrawing but we are still going, ready to face tomorrow's stage, which is new for everyone... "
2012/01/12 | 11:42 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/DESSOUDE