Still entrusted with a VERY expensive piece of machinery, Christian Lavielle is back at the wheel of a Dessoude Nissan in the Dakar Series "Silk Way" rally which runs from Russia through Kazakhstan and into Turkmenistan. The route covers 4500 KM with over 3200 KM in specials.
Lavielle, who burnt his Dessoude Nissan to the ground at the '09 Dakar, is the top non-VW driver in the event and sits 5th overall currently after three of nine total stages some 24 minutes adrift. Team Dessoude has five total Nissan rally vehicles entered in this race which is described as a great preparation for the '10 Dakar.
With the top VW teams all present and accounted for, they continue to build upon their reservoir of experience now running in their third major rally effort this year—'09 Dakar, '09 Rally Dos Sertes, and now the '09 Silk Way rally. No team will have anything approximating the VW teams collective experience come '10.
Top American driver is, no surprise, Mark Miller and his VW Toureg. Running third, ten minutes adrift of leader Al Attiyah, Miller has definately put his name in the running for "best travelled American Racer" over the past few years as he has run events on at least four of the world's seven continents...