Dakar 2014: Welcome Rest Day for Team Dessoude

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Rest day – Salta – 01/11/2014

The traditional rest day at midterm Dakar has never been better named. After a tiring week, everyone needed a break even if for private drivers that rest day is more focused on working on the car … In the Dessoude team, crews have benefited greatly from air conditioning as outside, temperature is not decided to decrease. Largest city in the region, Salta welcome the survivors of this first part of the race.

Waiting for the start of the second week, Team Dessoude crews come back on the first six legs.

Frédéric Chavigny and Guy Leneveu on their Atacama had a brilliant start of race and a very trick stage two days ago. Nevertheless, Fred remains optimistic and happy to have joined this bivouac …
“There are about 70 cars on classification and we were initially 146, so 50 % disappeared . This is the usual figure recorded at the finish of the rally … By Valparaiso, there will be again 50% crews to retire, that means 40 cars on the podium , this really is not much. Stages are quite similar to the past years but the main thing which complicated the situation is undoubtedly the extreme heat that has pain men and mechanics. But we must also admit that the pace is faster. Some stages are typed WRC and the more we are fast and the more cars cashing shock .
About classification, we are disappointed, we would have been in the top 30 and we are 58th overall. We had six legs, five of them were good and one very very bad that ruined everything . We had a lot of penalties, but we are still here and that is positive! On the road ahead, we will first of all try to enjoy. As temperature does not seem to decline and as cars suffered, I do not see how the second week could be easier than the first …”

Souvenir…souvenir…

Same impressions for Jean-Pierre Strugo and Bruno Cattarelli on their Buggy. The triple Production category World Champion who is now playing in 2-WD category seems satisfied.
“This first week was especially hard for me after three years of interruption and due to my respectable age. I decided to come back on this race to see if I was still able to compete . At mid-race, the results are quite positive on this point, even if it’s hard, I’m Okay. But it’s hard for everyone. As I have not raced for a while, I have a “big” number. Starting as far is difficult because you cannot overtake in the dust and on a smashed track.
The race as a whole has evolved. We are far from the 800 km African stages. Today, they do not exceed 500 km, and are interrupted by neutralization. The pace and the global level is higher. Everyone goes faster and it is easier to lose or getting stuck . Unlike others, the big stage with sand allowed us to come back and get into the Top 40. We are now in 32nd place, which puts us in a better position than our goal at that point. In addition, I really started to enjoy the fun of a 2WD, it’s different from my usual “trucks”!”

Just like “Jipé”, Yves Tartarin and Stéphane Duplé have not experienced an easy start. Lover of the Dakar race, Yves finally had 100 km of pure happiness yesterday…
“I want to say I’m really happy to be here after what we experienced and what we have seen… Regarding the level of difficulty and the omnipresent heat, we can be satisfied. Men and cars suffered during the week and it is not finished! Yesterday, for a hundred kilometers, we experienced a big pleasure. But yesterday, we were deeply stuck… For his first Dakar, my co-driver saw everything he should not do: I stop to deflate and when I restart … I was stuck . Then I was following a truck a little too close, he misses a gear ratio and I stuck… I even stuck in the fesh to such an extent that I could not open my door. Thanks to local people, we were able to restart. We have reached 65°C in the cockpit and engines took some hot shots, especially mine that exceeded 120°C , which is not very good. Tomorrow we leave for the last week that promises to be ” hot” again!

Tomorrow, if bikes are heading to Bolivia, cars will stay in Argentina for a loop around Salta. This loop of 533 km will offer many different terrains: fast, twisty, technical and at the end a salar crossing…