|Silk Way Rally: Team Dessoude happy about Christian Lavieille´s and team.|
The first stage of the Silk Way Rally 2011 between Moscow and Lipetsk was not so fun for the competitors. After the 260 km of liaison to reach the start of the stage, the crews had to face an extremely muddy terrain. The weather played a key role on the Silk Way Rally, alternately cloudy and stormy. First consequence of this instability, a muddy and extremely tricky terrain.
Christian Lavieille came quickly on the pace at the wheel of his new Oryx buggy and went out of this hell in 10th overall position, leading the two wheel-drive category. Frédéric Chavigny achieved the perfect race and finished the stage in 11th place, first of the T2 cars. For his first race, the Chinese Zhou Ji-Hong went safely out of the 310 km special stage, claiming the 31st place overall.
On their Oryx Buggy, Christian Lavieille and Jean-Michel Polato kept the pace despite many traps on terrain and navigation. Christian seems relieved with his day: "No way to push today - we stayed on a steady pace but wise, there was too much mud and we discover the car."
"I broke the comodo of the wiper during the stage and we stopped a few minutes to fix it. Jean-Michel did a very good job as navigation was sometimes tricky. At the end of the route, we had a deluge. I hope the sun will be back soon! We are leading the two wheel-drive category, that’s fine but the rally has just begun."
For André Dessoude, this first day in Russia takes a satisfying conclusion: "Christian went well out of this first special stage which was extremely muddy. With a two wheel-drive, I guess it wasn’t very easy ... I am amazed of the huge gaps that have already been dug in the standings.
The buggy went pretty well and tonight we have no major technical intervention, like for the other cars. Frédéric Chavigny achieved a perfect day by driving in a very "clean" manner without taking the slightest risk. A good pace and he is on top position of T2 category.
I would also welcome the result of Zhou Ji-Hong who joined the bivouac in 31st position. It is a good result for a first race here and especially with a lack of experience on such terrain. Crossing this gigantic mess without being stuck, it's already a good performance. He came there to learn the terrain and a car he has never driven."
2011/07/11 | 16:48 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/ARPIZOU