The Dakar in red and black for Team Dessoude !!
Today, Christian Lavieille and Jean-Michel Polato claimed the 6th fastest time on today's special stage, placing them 8th in the overall classification ! If red is the traditional colour for the Saint Lф cars, things are also looking black for one Dessoude crew this evening, as David Deslandes and Alain Brousse have remained prisoners of the sands.
The competitors arrived throughout the day, and even during the night of yesterday's rest day. That was why the Rally organisation decided to shorten today's stage. Reduced to 276 km compared to the 611 km initially planned, this proved to be Team Dessoude's best day so far, with the sixth position for Christian, whose policy of endurance over performance means that he is now eighth in the overall classification. This evening, Andre Dessoude is satisfied : "Nevertheless, you have to put the endurance aspect of Christian's race into perspective, because at that level, you have to be extremely competitive. Christian, with all his years of experience in the World Motorbike Championship, knows how to go fast, but while reducing the risks and taking care of his vehicle. The progressive elimination of various members of the Top 20 club is not due just to luck, and neither is Christian's performance. This evening, there have been 117 retirements from the race, all categories combined, and that is unlikely to be the final score. I am obviously very pleased as the mechanics are doing a great job and giving Christian a reliable car. And he motivates them thanks to his performances. But we are also sad due to the fact that David is stuck on the stage with technical problems. "
Nevertheless, there are celebrations in the Dessoude team this evening, as this is the best overall position for the men from Saint Lф since the new editions of the Dakar. Christian analyses the situation : " The special stage started off quite badly as I could not manage to wake up. I had a worse night than usual, and I had to get annoyed in order to get myself going. Despite that, things went really well, we didn't have any problems going over the dunes, and Jean-Michel's navigation was very good too. And, to crown it all, we didn't have any punctures. I am really happy for the team, and especially for Andre and Geraldine.
We are doing our race at our own pace, without worrying about our rivals, who have factory cars. But we have to remain clear-headed, as tomorrow will be delicate, to say the least, as will the day after tomorrow. The Dakar is far from over and we have to keep going ."
After their excellent performance the day before the rest day, Isabelle Patissier and Thiery Delli Zotti did even better today, claiming 19th place in the stage and climbing up six places in the overall classification.
Frederic Chavigny is still enchanted by Chile : " Even during the race, now and again, you can look at the scenery and appreciate these wide open spaces. The entry to the bivouac, for example, was down a dune that went right down to the Pacific ocean, it was magical. As far as the race is concerned, the car is still perfect and the crew not bad either. We had a good day, without too many difficulties. Even the tallest dunes, so difficult in previous years, are now easier to cross... "
As for David Deslandes and Alain Brousse, they are stuck out on the stage, more specifically in the dunes. Team Dessoude is working hard to get help out to them, so they can get going again and finish the special stage. Another night in the desert for David, who will once gain be able to appreciate the difficulty of the event, and build up many more unforgettable memories.
Pierrick Bonnet's rally is continuing, setting the 93rd time in today's special stage, and being 84th in the overall classification. There are now only 120 bikes left in the race, of the 185 originally entered ! More than ever, Pierrick's objective is to get to the end of the event, and to see his name on the final list of survivors
Tomorrow : Antofagasta / Copiapo -- Liaison 268 km / Special Stage 508 km Navigation, hidden tracks and sand in all its forms. To the despair of those who will finish after dark, the Dakar is not yet over !
-source: team dessoude