|SA-Dakar Rally: Dessoude Buggies in good mode, Chavigny missed in SS08.|
After the traditional rest day, Team Dessoude was heading for Antofagasta, the capital of the Atacama desert in Stage 08. Although the Buggies and the N05 prototype have reached the bivouac having set some good performances, maintaining their position in the first part of the results sheet despite some adventures, Frédéric Chavigny and Jean Brucy are still out on the track.
André Dessoude looked back over his first day back: "We heard quite rapidly that Frédéric Chavigny, who was climbing up the overall classification and who was lying provisionally in 52nd position, was having problems with the front axle. This was for the least unexpected, as the cars had been totally overhauled during the rest day. The fast service team have taken charge of the car and are working to find a solution. We need to wait for the car and analyse it in more details to confirm the diagnosis."
The two buggies of Isabelle Patissier and Thierry Magnaldi were on the pace and the battle in the two-wheel drive category is raging, although unfortunately, they have not had much luck. As for our Chinese beginner, Jihong Zhou, on his first Dakar, is 27th overall, up among some real veterans of the event.
"This very long special stage was not very pleasant, as we were really thrown around for 500 kilometres. Once again we started with the trucks, so between managing the dust and the behaviour of the trucks, who are fast on a straight line but slow when the track is winding, it was not very pleasant" Isabelle Patissier told. "On top of that, we had to take care not to get any punctures, as although there was no real time to gain, there was plenty to be lost. Each day has its share of problems, but my codriver Thierry Delli Zotti and I are, to say the least, pleased to have finished this stage - one more crossed off!"
French "legend" Thierry Magnaldi (23rd, +06:59:31) was frustrated after monday’s stage: "The team had done a lot of work, and the buggy was competitive and pleasant to drive, so we were looking forward to a big day. We started off very fast, and we overtook our nearest rivals and those notorious trucks, before getting a puncture at the rear. We stopped, changed the wheel, got going again and of course, we were in with the trucks again. It should be noted that the trucks are just as fast as the cars!"
"Having overtaken them again, we had another puncture, at the front this time, but when we got out, we were shocked - I must have badly attached the jack, and it had disappeared from the cockpit. So we had to do our best, change the wheel and face the trucks again. Of course, it all happened again and we had our third puncture of the day. Luckily Isabelle Patissier was just behind us, and helped us with our third wheel-change of the day. We finished in survival mode, due to having no more spare wheels. Overall, we were ahead and we finished 30 minutes down, so yes, this evening I am disappointed."
The Chinese team Zhou Jihong and Liao Min (27th, +07:42:27) continued their excellent Dakar and are now the leading Chinese driver in the overall classification. "The special stage was long but fast, with many changes of pace. Some wide, fast tracks where you had to let the horsepower talk, and some awkward rocky sections, which were rough and where you could easily get a puncture, so you had to take care. Although long, the stage was fast and was unlikely to see big gaps in the finish times. So we made sure that we looked after the car. This evening, I am pleased to be the top Chinese driver in the overall classification, but I am not forgetting that there are still another six days of racing."
2012/01/10 | 14:23 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/DESSOUDE