Dakar 2006: Team Nissan Aventure - Leg 4
Benoît Rousselot and Sylvain Poncet, while still remaining relatively cautious, set the best time in the T2 category today in their Nissan Pathfinder. This evening, Team Nissan Aventure has taken the lead of the Production category.
A relatively long and rough special stage between Er Rachidia and Ouarzazate, but also the first small dunes, and the first digging sessions … Benoît Rousselot was not able to avoid this additional exercise.
« Despite two small problems, we had a good day. I have to thank my co-driver Sylvain Poncet, who showed real good sense on two occasions. To get over the Merzouga dunes, we didn't deflate our tyres, and in a dip, we started to go round in circles. It was impossible to get out ! Sylvain suggested that I stop, facing forwards, and we let the air out to 600 grammes of pressure. And then we got out in just one go.
A bit further on, we get stuck in a corridor of fech-fech, where quite a few competitors were already stopped. Our Pathfinder was in a strange position, balanced on a ridge. Sylvain, who does a lot or four-wheel-drive raids in his profession, gave me a trick : with a bit of handbrake just as I went in reverse, the other three wheels found grip again, and we were able to get going. Thanks to him, we didn't' lose too much time…
Otherwise, our Pathfinder is still very fresh and is going perfectly. We are very careful in the rough sections and over the ditches. We have found a good pace, which doesn't wear out the vehicle. We are ready to concede time if necessary, and we will not go after the times, in order to keep the car in good condition.»
Benoît's team-mates, Paul Belmondo and Bernard Irissou also set a fine time, second place in T2 on the stage, and are currently lying in third position overall in their category.
Tomorrow, a long day awaits the competitors. Long liaisons both before and after the 350 km special stage. With alternating fast sections and potential traps, care will be needed !
Press Release Team Nissan Aventure