Dakar: Nissan Dessoude stage 14 report

Carlos Sousa to the rescue... Carlos Sousa and Thierry Delli Zotti lived up to the true Dakar spirit today, when a biker fell just in front of them, between Kayes and Tambacounda this morning. A reaction that comes naturally to the Portuguese ...

Carlos Sousa to the rescue...

Carlos Sousa and Thierry Delli Zotti lived up to the true Dakar spirit today, when a biker fell just in front of them, between Kayes and Tambacounda this morning. A reaction that comes naturally to the Portuguese driver, considered a true gentleman.

Carlos Sousa finished 10th in today's special stage. A stage during which he lost around ten minutes, but without losing his head or his sense of responsibility : " We started off at a good pace, trying to follow Vatanen, but it proved to be impossible. Afterwards, we caught up with Roma, who did not want to let us overtake him. We lost a lot of time, and gave up on the idea of doing something special on this stage. It was becoming too risky. Unfortunately, a biker fell between Roma and ourselves. We stopped right away. He was not doing well; he had a broken leg. We could not find his distress beacon, so we let off our own. We lost some time, but that's the way things go. It is a perfectly natural reaction. Now, our aim is to get to Dakar. In the overall classification, things should not really change from now on. We have never given up, despite our mechanical problems when we were lying fourth. If we reach Dakar in 7th position, it won't be bad at all. We'll be the leading privateers..."

Benoît Rousselot had some problems yesterday between Bamako and Kayes. The team had the unpleasant surprise of being overtaken by their own rear half-shaft... Quite a fright, which resulted in three and a half hours waiting for the assistance truck. Among the last to arrive at the bivouac yesterday, he was among the last to leave Kayes this morning. A long and difficult day : "Not easy at all. We overtook a lot of people, but the most difficult things were the dust and the trucks... We were listening to our car all the time, opting to drive `cool'. It is not easy for our little Pathfinder. A lot of very rough ground. We have been through all the phases in this race. André Dessoude suggested that I do the Dakar to learn, but I must admit that this apprenticeship is a particularly tough one. I've had a complete array of worries, satisfactions, fears. This has been a difficult Dakar, but our morale has been good throughout. There are just two days to go...our fingers are firmly crossed !"

Philippe de Weindel, who is Benoît's navigator, had a bit of a fright today : "The trucks got in our way, and there was so much dust... Moreover, we hit a branch, which pushed the rear view mirror onto my windscreen. It exploded. After that, the cockpit was full of dust. It was really tough ... the main thing was to finish. Tomorrow's stage will be shorter, we are impatient to get to Dakar. "

Tomorrow's stage will `only' be 225 km long, before reaching, at long last, Dakar. The liaison sector will be quite long, 200 km, giving them plenty of time to admire the scenery...

CLASSIFICATION SS 13 : 529 km Pos. Nr Name Make Time Gap 1 311 VATANEN / -nissan france-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Carlos Sousa , Philippe de Weindel , Benoit Rousselot , André Dessoude