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Transiberico: Nissan Aventure takes the lead of the T2 category.

The second day of this 2nd Rally Transiberico bore little resemblance to the first day. If Friday´s timetable was relatively easy, Saturday´s schedule included two 258-kilometres special stages. A real good day of racing, which also saw the first retirements. For Team Nissan Aventure, this intense second leg brought the lead of the T2 category, where a real battle is going on. The Nissan Pathfinder driven by Christian Lavieille and Arnaud Debron is lying in 12th position overall this evening.

Summer temperatures and bright sunshine could have been Saturday´s weather forecast. This second leg, between Estoril and Evora, in the east of the country, included two 258 kilometres stages, separated by a 45-minute service park in order to allow the teams to catch their breath. Not on top form due to some stomach problems, Christian Lavieille was nevertheless confident when he left Estoril this morning.

During the first loop, the Nissan Aventure driver tried to keep on the right pace. "I have not been feeling very well since Friday evening, and quite frankly, I felt queasy. But apart from that, the stage was quite nice, with some pure driving in magnificent scenery. There was no chance of getting bored when slaloming through the eucalyptus trees... We started off at the right pace, and we overtook Sousa at the 130 km point. After that, we slowed slightly to take care of the car heading to the service park. The changes to the suspension settings that we had made proved to be very efficient today again".

"By the time we arrived at the end of the first special stage, I was shattered. This afternoon, I felt a lot better physically, back in shape and totally awake. We kept up a sustained pace throughout the special stage. I really enjoyed myself today. As far as the classification is concerned, our twelfth place overall is quite encouraging, but there is a real battle going on in T2 and three cars are close together. We will have to be careful, while keeping up a good pace. This is my first real race in Portugal (not counting the two Dakar stages this year) and I must admit that I am quite delighted by the route. The Pathfinder was perfect, no problems at all" said Christian Lavieille.

Arnaud Debron was not in top form this morning either, also suffering from nausea: "Physically, we were not on top form Saturday morning. I even thought Christian was going to fall asleep at one point. Luckily, things got better on the second stage. Christian drove well, while taking care of the car. Sunday´s stage will not be so long, but as far as difficulties are concerned, anything could happen?"

At this stage of the event, André Dessoude is very satisfied with his crew: "Christian and Arnaud are putting in a fine race, whilst driving very intelligently. The car is fresh despite today´s stage, which was not that easy. I am really confident as they manage the race in ideal conditions. Our main rivals are very close, and the fight will not be over before Monday evening."

2006/05/15 I 00:34 CET I Editor:

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