Tunisia : Nissan Aventure - Leg 2
After yesterday's long liaison section between Tunis and Ras el Oued, the true competition started today for those taking part in the Optic 2000 Tunisia. After a short two-km liaison, nearly 300 km of timed sectors were on the programme,
which took place in strong winds, covering everything in dust and sand and making life difficult for the competitors…
Having started off at a careful pace, the Nissan Aventure team finished second in the category, and 16th overall. A race strategy which should allow Christian Lavieille to get the measure of his rivals…
Between Ras el Oued and Nekrif, the day's most notable element was the wind. A continuous wind, along with a few strong gusts. A real problem for the bikers, but also a nuisence for the cars. The stage was initially windy and rough, and then very fast at the end.
The morale and the atmosphere are both fine in Team Nissan Aventure today. Determined not to push initially, Christian Lavieille lost two minutes to Jean Pierre Strugo this morning, but is not stressed about it : «We started off very carefully, looking after the Pathfinder and without putting ourselves under pressure. The difficulty was also to find the right pace, as I do not know the car very well yet. On the first part of the route, very windy and rough, Strugo caught up on us, and a small navigation error (for which I take full responsibility), he overtook us. But as soon as the track got faster, we regained the advantage. Overall, we lost two minutes, nothing too serious, especially as we will start behind him tomorrow, which is an ideal position to control the race.
The car was perfect, nothing to note. The Nissan Pathfinder is very efficient on the rough parts. Fast and agile, this car is really surprising… »
For Arnaud Debron, today went well… « As far as the navigation is concerned, Christian just went off the bearings once, but he quickly made up for the mistake. This day was important in order to get our bearings concerning Jean Pierre Strugo. It allowed us to work out our advantages and our small weak points. The race is only starting…»
Tomorrow will see a loop around Nekrif. A 295 km timed sector with a varied profile. The main interest will be diversity of the terrain traversed. The start of the stage is on a narrow winding track, with some camel grass. The drivers should enjoy it. Afterwards, the track, marked with guard posts, watching the frontier with Lybia, will grow faster. The competitors will head west to reach the Fort Mched Salah. After a rocky section which could hurt the tyres, the rally will go around the Fort Ksar Jedid.
The route will then speed up, along a small chain of mountains. Concentration will be the key word, both as far as driving and navigation is concerned.
Press Release Nissan Aventure