Team Dessoude Incredible Atacama!

Team Dessoude Incredible Atacama!

18.01.2013: 2013 DAKAR Leg 12 - 17th of January 2013 Fiambala / Copiapo : 715 km - Liaisons : 396 km - SS : 319 km

2013 DAKAR  Leg 12 - 17th of January 2013
Fiambala / Copiapo : 715 km - Liaisons : 396 km - SS : 319 km

 


Three days before the finish, this 12th stage between Copiapo and Fiambala was very long but also tricky in the dunes of the Atacama desert. For the fifth consecutive time, the Dakar makes a stop in this small mining town which became the mecca for Chilean cross-country fans. Here, no rain, but cathedrals dunes and many opportunities to be trapped by sand or navigation.


The last of the 93 competitors who started this morning are far from having reached the finish. Team Dessoude was not saved by the difficulties of the route. As they were on the 15th position during the two-thirds of the race, Christian Lavieille and Buggy Juke have made a bitter experience loosing nearly one hour.


The same goes for Yves Tartarin and Frédéric Chavigny. The first had to take shovels and sand-plates and the second had three punctures. But Santiago is approaching fast ...
 

For Christian Lavieille and Jean-Michel Polato, this "big leg" looked good. During the first 220 km everything went perfectly and the crew was moving up on rankings to reach the 15th position. But at 221 km, passing a “bowl”, the Buggy Juke was stuck ...


"We were on a good pace and crossed the first dunes without difficulty. But at km 221, we were stuck in a “bowl”. We moved backward to leave when we noticed that the right front wheel was deflated. We changed the wheel but the car did not restart.


After several attempts, we left. Later, by approaching a compression but without enough speed, the car landed on its side. A rather uncomfortable position. A BMW stuck close to us and we decided to help each other to get out of this trap. I’ve not been stuck for 4 or 5 years ! But a Buggy is not a 4x4 car... We were on track to make a good performance, which is unfortunate.”
 

Yves Tartarin and Christian Poirault decided today to "cruise" without taking any risks. According to Yves, a few days to the finish, there was more to lose than to gain today on this quite difficult leg.


"For the first time, we did not have to suffer any puncture today! For cons, I stuck like a kid in a sandbox at the beginning of the dunes. I stayed quiet on the rest of the route because I did not want to have an other puncture or to get stuck ...


The stage was difficult, not in terms of mileage but in terms of level. There was a series of dunes rather complicated. The track was plowed up by trucks, which did not facilitate the task. We tried less "busy" tracks when we were in a “stuck zone”. I think a lot of competitors will arrive late. On overall classification, there is not much more to do, then we take it all with philosophy ... "


  Today Frédéric Chavigny and Guy Leneveu had a very bad day on their Proto Atacama . Started from the 38th position, the Atacama desert turned to hell for the crew. On the 319 km of the route, the crew suffered three punctures. But through the dunes, like many competitors, they took out shovels and plates. After this "marathon" stage, the crew joined the bivouac with relief. Tomorrow is another day and every day is a little closer to Santiago.


On Friday, the rally will head south, to La Serena, to cross the last dunes of the race. The sandy part is about a third of the stage. At the end, wide tracks encourage high speed but beware of punctures. Then competitors will reach the last bivouac of the rally, set-up in La Serena.
 


Géraldine DESHAYES, photos DPPI

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18.01.2013 / MaP

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