IT will be a French show all the way. France’s popular car, the ‘Deudeuche’ or ‘Deuche,’ will be in the Sultanate for the first time and be part of a discovery tour.
‘Deuche’ is the nickname given to Citröen 2CV Raid taking place in Oman from March 26 to April 5.
About 30 weird-looking ‘Deudeuchs’ will travel more than 3,000 kilometres with 80 per cent off-road thanks to 2CV’s capacities.
Symbol of the French way of life, the legendary car was created in 1949 by Citroen, a famous French car manufacturing company.
After Brazil, Argentina, China or Morocco, the 2CV Raid team has chosen the Sultanate to propose a raid to the car’s adherents. They will cross the desert and mountains to live an unforgettable experience here.
The pilots (drivers) will comprise from France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Britain, Austria, Portugal, Russia and Belgium.
The 13-day-event will see 30 cars imported directly from France along with 19 French organisation crews, an Omani drone cameraman, a French professional photographer making the experience more exclusive and incomparable.
Two French lady journalists Morhaim Amandine (pilot), and Odru Anne, (co-pilot), comprise the only two women team on the track and will be seen in Car 09, the Yellow Desert Team. Martine Gohier, General Manager, M&N Tours, says for the moment, the cars are out of the containers at Port of Sohar with help from French organisers and M&N Tours.
Pilots and participants arrive on March 24 in Muscat and will be taken the next day by bus to Suhar to start the rally on March 26.
The last big point of ‘Deudeuche’ is that the car can be modified easily thanks to all the mounted part set included in the car. The production was stopped in 1990, which makes this car a truly rare product.
‘Deudeuchs’ model is perfectly adapted to realise these kind of raids: with its small size (3,80 m) and very lightweight (between 400 and 500 kg), the 2CV is really comfortable, especially thanks to its suspensions including 12 springs, leading to very flexible driving.
Different version of 2CVs has been created like the small-truck one, including a Berlin motor that allows the car to stand almost 200 kg of luggage plus two passengers.
While, Nabhan al Nabhani from Oman, a former international rally driver in 2000 till 2005, who prepared and selected the route, says the event promises lot of performances, from one-day excursions to the planning of tailor-made trips.
The route is usually intended for competent drivers and for 4x4s. The 2CV and its suspensions are able to realise the kind of performance without taking the risk of malfunctioning, thanks to the strength of the model, Nabhani explains.
The rally will be flagged off on March 26 at Suhar.
The ‘Deuche’ is a perfect compromise for people wishing to live this type of adventure and having great experience. French culture will be represented by these special vehicles which are being temporarily imported.
To compensate the carbon dioxide emission due to the vehicles and the using of an old product as the 2CV, M&N Tours is committed to participate for the implantation of trees in association with CO2 Solidaire.
For each teqCO2, the organisers promise to implant seven trees, at tourist zones or important axes, to have a real impact on the biodiversity.
Secondly, during the tour, they will also organise a beach clean-up to show the respect for the Omani landscape.
Visitors will be able to watch these funny looking cars in Nizwa at the Cattle Market from 7 am to 10 am. They will be parking in front of the souk, the public come to watch and take pictures of the famous Deudeuchs.
This event has been relayed by a number of French media namely France 3 TV, La Voix du Nord newspaper and will be published by ‘Wings of Oman’, the inflight magazine of Oman Air, Merge Radio, Virgin and Oman FM.
On April 5, the concluding day at the Oman Automobile Association, Muscateers can watch performances of the 2CV cars and personally meet the pilots.
The event will also provide an occasion to admire 2CV cars during an exhibition of their skills on a 4x4 track before the event concludes with an award ceremony.