Tough stages to come in succession, Christian ranks safely among top 10

At present, the Dakar Rally has completed stage 3 competition. Though Haval’s Carlos Sousa announced withdrawal prior to the stage, Haval’s Christian Lavieille finished the stage steadily today, rising to the 7th overall.


After the occurrence of mechanical malfunction yesterday, Sousa returned to campsite around 3 a.m. this morning. All people expecting him to be present on the stage today were surprisingly informed of his withdrawal.
The team director Dong Ming said, “Sousa’s car encountered difficulties in stage 2 due to mechanical malfunction. We feel really regretful to be informed of his withdrawal by the organizing committee, though his car was intensively repaired.”He added, “Sousa has been working with us for three years and achieved 6th place twice in last two years. He also worked with us to attend the China Grand Rally this year. No matter his personal abilities or his cooperation with our team, he has increasingly matured and winning the championship of the 1st stage is the best proof. We feel really regretful for his withdrawal due to the fault in stage 2”.
Though Sousa has quit the competition this year, his winning the first stage championship for Chinese teams in stage 1 in the history of Dakar Rally would make an important record in China’s racing history. We also expect that he can take part once again in the competition next year and make more records.
For his accidental withdrawal, all members of “Haval Dakar Team” expressed, “Withdrawal is one inevitable constituent part of the Dakar Rally. We hope that all fans will not lose confidence from his accidental withdrawal. The competition this year is still under way. We believe that Christian Lavieille can continue to achieve breakthroughs and hope that all fans can continue to focus on the competition this year. ”
The 3rd stage today is 596km long from San Rafael to San Juan, of which the special stage for car class is 301km long, passing through the racing track full of pits and rocks in Aconcagua volcano of Andes Mountains.
Haval’s Christian Lavieille showed his characteristics of rich experiences and finished this stage in 3hr 13min 35sec, 14min slower than Roma, the champion of this stage, which enabled him to rise to 7th place in total ranking. As a veteran player wining the championships twice in Dakar Rally, Christian Lavieille has been promoting his scores gradually according to his paces. It’s exactly what he said, “With Sousa’s withdrawal, I have to face alone the competition of the numerous drivers from Mini and other teams, so I have to be steadier and take initiative”.
Tomorrow will see stage 4 from Chilecito to San Juan. The 868km stage will be the longest one in the rally, including 657km special stage. The drivers arriving at Chilecito will be faced with the great challenge of Atacama Desert.