ANDRE DESSOUDE'S JOURNAL 10th January 2006- Kayes (Mali) The tenth leg of the Dakar, leaving Mauritania to head for Mali, was relatively short, but quite sufficient considering that so many had arrived late in the night or at dawn. For Andre...
ANDRE DESSOUDE'S JOURNAL
10th January 2006- Kayes (Mali)
The tenth leg of the Dakar, leaving Mauritania to head for Mali, was relatively short, but quite sufficient considering that so many had arrived late in the night or at dawn.
For Andre Dessoude, fatigue is also beginning to tell, having spent night after night watching over his teams, and only resting once they have all reached the bivouac.
"Today, Carlos Sousa had no problems, setting the seventh-fastest time and climbing another place in the overall classification, following the problems that befell Magnaldi.
Our Portuguese driver, Miguel Barbosa, had a small power steering problem, and he found the stage physically very difficult on this winding stage, with the steering being very heavy.
Although Benoît Rousselot was psychologically affected by his problems of the day before, he still continued to attack, and finished the day having set the best time in the day in the Production category. No problems for Rene Metge, always consistent and in the top 40 overall. Finally, our two Paladins are still there ; everything is going well for them, although we are going to change a gearbox this evening as a precautionary measure, as the third gear is cracking.
On my side, I have damaged the front left wing of my Patrol, on the difficult assistance route, which went along narrow, pot-holed routes. The worst thing is that is was due to the dust thrown up by one of my own assistance trucks that I could not avoid a tree ! " Tomorrow, the rally will go even deeper into the heart of Mali, towards the capital city, Bamako.
The stage looks quite tricky, on narrow tracks through the forest. The rally is now into its third and final part.
What they said...
The Team Dessoude drivers
Carlos Sousa -- Nissan Navara : "Everything went very well today. We started quite quickly, and Sainz, who was really flying, overtook us like a rocket at the 70 km point ! Afterwards, due to some pain in my neck, I calmed down a bit.
Today, we entered into the third and final part of the Dakar, with its narrow, winding tracks.
You have to make sure the trees aren't crossing the road, as Ari Vatanen would say...
Despite the care we took, we set the seventh time on this stage, and I am very pleased, as most of the top drivers are still driving very quickly. They are not here to go for a gentle walk. The strength of our team is the incredible reliability of the cars. "
Benoît Rousselot -- Nissan Pathfinder : " We had all sorts of problems from Nouakchott to Kiffa, and the night was very short, and not that good. First of all, at the 90 km point, our front right transmission broke. That lost us an hour. Then, the clutch started playing up, at the 420 km point, it gave up altogether. And finally, after 450 km, in the very last part of the special stage, part of the front axle broke. An essential part, which brought us to a total halt. We waiting five hours for the T4 assistance truck, and well into the night, the mechanics changed the part. We managed to finish the stage at dawn, and got to the Kiffa bivouac at half past eight in the morning !
I am really disappointed -- how is it possible to lose all hopes of victory in just one leg ?
In Kiffa, we only had time to have breakfast, to sleep for an hour, and then we had to start off for the next stage, between Kiffa and Kayes. Luckily the day's stage was pleasant, which allowed us to stay concentrated and not fall asleep. It was some small consolation that we set the 27th fastest time overall, and the best in the Production category. "