Dakar : Team Nissan Aventure - Leg 7
After their misadventures of the day before, Benoît Rousselot and Sylvain Poncet, in their Team Nissan Aventure Nissan Pathfinder, regained the lead of the T2 category this evening. A very difficult stage, that the Nancy- based driver
managed in the best possible way, setting the best time of the day.
A quick look back over yesterday's stage, between TanTan and Zouérat, the first « big » leg. Without a pierced water tube, Benoît could have put in an excellent result in the Production category. Having overtaken fifteen cars during the first 200 km, Benoît had pulled out a serious lead. But when he stopped to deflate the tyres before the dunes, Benoît and Sylvain discovered a leak in the radiator's water circuit. There was no other option than to repair it, and, of course, it was the most inaccessible pipe in the engine. To change it, they had to dismantle the alternator. Once more, Sylvain Poncet was excellent. He changed the water circuit, short-circuiting the pierced tube. The Nissan Pathfinder had stopped just in time to save the engine, before the water temperature could reach the fatal zone. Yesterday's final result : one hour and fifteen minutes lost … and the Production category lead as well…
But today, on the redoubtable leg between Zouérat and Atar (from which only around forty of the car competitors have reached the bivouac at this time) the scenario was totally different.
Benoît and Sylvain managed their day in masterly fashion, and retook the lead of the Production category. «For a week, we've been waiting for this day… You had to be ready, both physically and mentally. On the physical side, since the start of the rally, I've favoured a rhythm which favours sleep. Whenever possible, I try to sleep ten hours a night. I go to bed at around 20:30 … like the chickens, but it is really important to recover as well as possible. We put in a good race today, with a sustained pace, but in intelligent fashion. We took the time to stop when it was necessary, to listen to our car, or to think. A few second lost can avoid hours of problems. The sand was very soft, but we only got stuck twice. In total, we lost eight minutes. The car was going well, and we only had to take care of a bit of overheating. Nevertheless, we kept cool throughout the route, and it paid off. »
« Sylvain put in a super job, he navigated perfectly. Our main aim was to make sure the car was OK. This evening, I'm a bit tired, but that is most probably the tension and the continual concentration in today's tricky sections, and most specifically crossing the ergs. A good night's sleep will sort all that out…»
Tomorrow, between Atar and Nouakchott, a bit of sand and some technical tracks. Another difficult day before reaching Nouakchott, for the rest day. A well-earned rest…
Press Release Team Nissan Aventure