Porsche progresses in Transsyberia rally
The little-known Transsyberia rally from the Russian capital of Moscow to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar is being heavily promoted by Porsche, so much so that they custom-built a set of Cayenne S Transsyberia models to compete in the rally. Unlike the WRC, these road-legal vehicles are closer to their showroom counterparts. Though some other vehicles are also running the rally, the Cayenne-driving teams are getting the most publicity through international Porsche online advertisements (though none on this website). Unsurprisingly, they are also currently leading the 2008 rally, which has already reached its fourth leg.
Competitors had a lengthy wait for the results of the third special stage. Only at the end of the fourth leg did Sergey Kvashnin and Alexey Pavlovskiy of Team Russia 2 learn that they were the fastest in their Cayenne on the 10 km special stage, the shortest of the whole rally. Twelve seconds behind was Armin Schwarz and Andreas Schulz from Team Germany 1 in second, again in a Cayenne. With this result, the pair further reduced the gap to the leading Team Portugal by around seven seconds. Antonio Tognana and Carlo Cassina from Team Italy followed just eight-tenths of a second behind. Among the Porsche contenders is also Team Qatar.
Due to severe thunderstorms the fourth special stage had to be cancelled. The loamy ground had become so soft that even the doctors’ special all-terrain emergency vehicles were in danger of getting stuck. For security reasons the organisers decided not to start the stage.
On 15th July, the fifth of a total of 14 legs through West Siberia from Tyumen to Omsk runs over 672 km, with a special stage of 50 km. The Transsyberia Rally started on 11th July on Moscow’s Red Square and finishes on 25th July in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar after a total of over 7000 km.
Incidentally, Porsche now has a new PR manager for this region, and she sent us a “Transsyberia” gift, consisting of a Swiss Army knife and a compass. Maybe we’ll push our luck later and ask for test-drive cars.