DACIA PRESS, 02.02.2010


Team Dacia is very positive about its first Trophée Andros campaign. The winter series brought it three wins, as well as second place in the final standings with Alain Prost. The Dacia Duster driver takes time to look back at the season that has just come to a close…

Just two months after the first meeting, this winter's Trophée Andros ended last weekend in Super Besse, France. What are your thoughts after your first season with Team Dacia?
I think our results matched the expectations we had prior to the first race. It is always possible to do better in motor sport, but we have met our objectives. This was our first entry in the Trophée Andros and we had a brand new car to develop, so we were clearly going to be the challengers up against rivals who already had their marks in the series. To come second in such a competitive championship is therefore a first class result.

The season began well, with two wins from the first two meetings…
If we were to challenge Jean-Philippe Dayraut [Skoda] for the title, we knew we had to be competitive from the outset, and we needed to make sure we ended the first part of the calendar as close to the top of the standings as possible. Our victories in Val Thorens and Grandvalira matched our game plan to the letter, and our intention was to make a big step forward with the car's development over the Christmas break. Motor sport has never been an exact science, however, and we didn't succeed in reaching the level of performance we had been targeting. When action resumed in Isola 2000, Jean-Philippe Dayraut dealt us a hard blow, and I think that was probably the turning point of this winter's Trophée Andros. We went on to make good progress in Lans-en-Vercors, and finally notched up our third win in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges.

What did you lack in your bid to win the title?
I think we simply lacked time! With a programme of seven meetings in just two months, the Trophée Andros leaves the teams very little time, and it is practically impossible to test between events. Dacia Duster has got tremendous potential, but we haven't yet succeeded in exploiting it to the full. We kept working right up until the last race to understand our car and improve it. We will now make the most of the end of the winter to analyse all the data we have collected and try out some new solutions. Nothing has yet been decided for next season, but our plan is to prepare for the future…

How was Dacia's debut in motor sport perceived?
The arrival of a new manufacturer was positive for the Trophée Andros in particular, and for motor sport in general. It has changed mindsets and shown that a ‘low cost’ brand, too, can promote an image that combines performance and reliability! There was keen interest from the media and spectators alike, and that includes both the die-hard racing fans and the more casual visitors. Dacia is a very popular brand, and its popularity has been boosted by its presence in the Trophée Andros. From this point of view, I think we have amply exceeded our objectives.

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