Carlos Sousa sets the 3rd fastest time, while Benoît Rousselot is once more fastest in T1...
A good penultimate Dakar day for Team Nissan France Dessoude. Carlos Sousa set a brilliant 3rd fastest time in today's stage, while Benoît Rousselot claimed his 3rd T1 stage win, finishing in 19th place overall.
At long last, the weather has improved, and today's stage in Senegal saw the first sunshine of the rally shine on the 225 km penultimate special stage. A technical stage, with some tricky navigation. A good combination for the Sousa-Delli Zotti team. Moreover, the Nissan France guests and VIPs came to greet the competitors at the end of the stage. Enthusiastic supporters, with flags and banners, gave plenty of encouragement to all the competitors.
The stage was a good one for Carlos Sousa, even if the Portuguese driver only started 9th this morning : " We lost some time trying to overtake. But despite everything it was a good stage. Driving and navigation. Our overall position is unlikely to change, therefore there was no point taking any risks. It would be rather a shame to give up so close to the end. We tried to go fast, but not too fast..."
Thierry Delli Zotti confirmed his words : "There were a few navigational traps this morning, but Carlos drove very well. We kept a steady pace. Tomorrow, the final stage..."
Benoît Rousselot really enjoyed this last, true stage. A true driver's stage, which was extremely enjoyable for the rally drivers. "For me, this was the best stage of the rally. I really enjoyed it... We could easily `read' the road ahead, and get the right trajectories. We overtook all the T1 cars, and the manoeuvres went well every time. No- one tried to block us. We were driving in the dust, but that did not prevent us setting the best time in T1. I am really very satisfied, we are finishing (or nearly) in fine style..."
As usual, the final stage will take place around the shores of the Rose Lake. A 31-km event in the pure Dakar tradition. The finish on the beach will give a sense of deliverance. All the teams will be able to celebrate the 27th edition of the Dakar, even if this event will leave a rather bitter taste for the whole Rally Raid family."