|SA-Dakar Rally: Jihong/Min best Nissan & Chinese, Magnaldi 3rd in buggies.|
The formerly biggest Nissan Team and now Oryx-Buggy specialist Dessoude has three from five cars in Lima - a good result, as teamchef André Dessoude reported (extra article). Two well known names, Isabelle Patissier and Thierry Magnaldi, started with their Oryx-buggies - and finished good. But Dessoude also has: The best Nissan in the race - and the best Chinese crew.
Zhou Jihong and Liao Min started with the "Dessoude Nissan Proto 05", a totally prototype car, based on the former Nissan factory cars from 2003 and 2004. It was a long road for them but the Chinese crew never gave up.
For his first Dakar, Zhou Jihong has seen plenty and had to be mentally strong to keep going until the end. Always positive and willing to help, his 19th place is down to his determination. A fine reward and a position that he has defended until the very last stage.
"It was sometimes very difficult but we just want to succeed" Jihong reported. "Day after day, we had to keep going with Lima in our sights. And finally, we are there! It is with great joy that we have proudly carried the colours of China during this edition of the Dakar."
Thierry Magnaldi/François Borsotto and Isabelle Patissier/Thierry Delli Zotti started with their Oryx buggies, prepared by Team Dessoude. Magnaldi is classified 15th overall, third in the two-wheel-drive category (second diesel), while Isabelle finished in the top 30, in 29th position.
For the ‘young’ Diesel buggy of Magnaldi and Borsotto, there is a rather positive report. "This result is great for the whole team" said Magnaldi.
"The overall report is quite satisfactory, considering the youth of the car, and a rather chaotic first week where we had puncture after puncture. We worked hard on the settings, and I have to say that this is very positive for the future evolution of the Buggy. This is a good car, and has great potential. On this Dakar, we took an extra step with the car, and its future is looking good."
"This 2012 Dakar was not really difficult, and from a driver’s point of view, it became really interesting on the final three days, when the stages were more like those in Africa. The start of the route did not really allow drivers to express themselves, as it is almost impossible to overtake and the race turns into a caravan tain over terrain which degrades very quickly."
In Lima, Isabelle Patissier has just finished her 10th Dakar. Alongside Thierry Delli Zotti, this 2012 edition was not always very easy to manage and, like her team-mates, she was bothered by the ever-present dust and its consequences.
"The end of the race in Peru was difficult and intense, but we discovered there a magnificent pile of sand, which somewhat reconciled us with the Dakar. Year follows year, but the results are not the same. In 2011 we were 16th, and this year 29th. The main thing is that we reached the end of the adventure, and that we have climbed up on the podium in Lima."
"However, I do not particularly like this cohabitation between the cars and trucks, in particular on the sort of terrain where there is only one track. Mixing the categories, in the dust, is a bit like Russian roulette."
"It is complicated and dangerous, and impossible to get back in touch with the competitors in your own category. If there is a problem, there is nothing you can do… Before thinking about the future, we intend to make the most of Peru, where we have decided to take a week’s holiday, including, of course, a visit to Machu Picchu!"
2012/01/16 | 14:51 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/DESSOUDE/HS