|SA-Dakar Rally: Sousa / Garcin and their Great Wall consolidates 8th place.|
In the longest stage of this Dakar so far, with 477 km between Copiapó and Antofagasta, in Chile, Carlos Sousa and his French codriver Jean-Pierre Garcin guaranteed, for the second time in this edition, a place among the seven fastest drivers of the day with his SUV Haval of Great Wall.
This result allowed him to consolidate his eight position and recover about two minutes and a half from the Russian driver Leonid Novitskiy, first leader of the rally and currently seventh overall.
"We started the track cautiously, trying to understand if it was everything alright with the car after the general car servicing from yesterday, during the rest day. Although I still feel some difficulties, due to the still unstable rear end, I increased the pace gradually, forcing it in the fastest parts and defending myself a little in the areas of worse path, where I could easily get a puncture," explained the best Portuguese overall when he arrived at Antofagasta.
"Six days away from Lima, it is hard to predict what is still to come in terms of final result in this Dakar, considering the apprehension felt towards the two first stages in Peru. In normal conditions, it will be difficult to get a higher place overall" But the result from today was particularly motivating, giving us some hope to still put Novitskiy under some pressure", admitted Sousa.
"For now, we increased our advantage to our main follower and overcame another long and strenuous stage. For now on, I believe that the difficulties will increase even more, so we will have to be very focused on our race and avoid any problem that may compromise this fantastic result for the team Great Wall Motors", concluded Carlos Sousa, on a day on which his team mate Zhou Yong came in 18th overall and placed himself among the first 30 car drivers overall.
2012/01/10 | 00:27 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/PRESSAPORTER