Few days ago we were speaking about the beginning of the 2008 edition of the Transsyberia Rally. By the end of the leg two of the rally Team Germany 1 car, driven by Armin Schwarz and Andi Schulz, was with five seconds faster than the Porsche Cayenne driven by Denis Levyatov and Sergey Talantsev from Team Porsche Russia 1. On the third place at the end of the second leg of the rally was the Spanish team Paul Soler and Laia Peinado also in a Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia .
More details after the jump!
Armin Schwarz and Andi Schulz of Team Germany 1 achieved the top time at leg two of the 2008 Transsyberia Rally powered by Sony Ericsson. In their 385 hp Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia they mastered the 58 kilometre special stage five seconds faster than Cayenne pilots Denis Levyatov and Sergey Talantsev from Team Porsche Russia 1. Finishing third with a gap of 51 seconds were Paul Soler and Laia Peinado from Team Spain, also at the wheel of a Cayenne S Transsyberia. In the overall classification Pedro Gameiro and Pedro Figueiredo of Team Portugal still hold the lead despite finishing today’s leg in 14th. Christian Lavieille and Francois Borsotto of Team France move into second place, 5.45 minutes shy of the leaders. On the second leg, the pair drove the fifth fastest time.
Leg two of the Transsyberia Rally also ran through large tracts of forest. The stage was considerably quicker and more flowing, but again required exact navigation to negotiate the many forks and turn-offs. “Today’s leg was very good for us,” said leg winner Armin Schwarz at the finish. “It was an excellent and selective special stage – just how I like them. The track was of course muddy and slippery but not excessively so. It was fantastic to drive on them with the Porsche. I’m sure I could have driven faster. But the main priority is to finish in one piece and not to take unnecessary risks. There is still a long way to go. It’s much more fun this year compared to 2007 – mostly due to the much improved vehicle.”
Denis Levyatov and Sergey Talantsev of Team Porsche Russia 1 also put in an excellent drive. With the second fastest time of the day they moved up to seventh in the overall classification directly behind Armin Schwarz and Andi Schulz. “It’s a heart-warming feeling to head into a stage right behind a professional like Armin. At least you don’t have to worry that the competitor in front is going to hold you up,” said Levyatov. “I’m very happy with how the rally is going and I’m quickly getting my bearings.”
Further comments from Porsche pilots:
Martin Rowe (leg 2 classification 6th place): “Things went better for us today compared to yesterday. This is how I know rallying and that’s why it was so much fun on the special stage. We got through without any problems. The Porsche is simply fantastic. I’m constantly amazed what the Cayenne can do on difficult terrain. It’s impressive!”
Antonio Tognana (leg 2 classification 7th place): “I very much enjoyed today’s stage. I really had to hold myself back from going flat-out in typical rally style. My goal was to take it carefully. In the forest there were quite a few passages with rather large bumps. The tactic worked and the car came home without a scratch. Ultimately we have to get the Porsche to Mongolia and that’s where we can put the foot down.”
Yoshifumi Ogawa (leg 2 classification 12th place): “I was somewhat disappointed yesterday. The leg was incredibly tough. I hadn’t counted on such an extreme start to this rally. Compared to that today’s stage was great. We didn’t experience any major problems. I must also praise the Cayenne. It handles beautifully in such terrain.”
Lars Kern (leg 1 classification 9th place): “At the beginning of the special stage I experienced difficulties. I simply couldn’t find a decent rhythm. The terrain changed constantly. After ten kilometres I became accustomed to the route and found my line. I started the stage in second and finished it in second. I lost some time but I can live with that. We still have some days ahead of us.”
Ryan Millen (leg classification 10th place): “I’m thrilled that I managed to finish the leg. On the way to the start the power steering failed. I was afraid that we couldn’t even start. We then just gave it a go and it worked. To be honest, it worked really well under these circumstances. We didn’t make one mistake. Maybe it helped to be one of the last on the stage. Compared to the front-runners we only lost several minutes and we could look after the car. That’s fantastic. We’re pleased with today’s result.”
Adel Abdula (leg classification 4th place): “I’m smiling again. Today everything went well. Okay, I’m still a long way from the top but I will try to make it up each day. Keep cool and wait. It’ll all be sorted out in Mongolia. Until then we just have to keep the Cayenne in one piece. I’m feeling optimistic.”
Christian Pfeil-Schneider (leg classification 18th place): “Right at the start we lost our way for a short time and then we drove into a water hole. That alone cost us 30 to 40 minutes. But it’s okay. We got ourselves out and then everything went smoothly. It’s unbelievable what this car has to deal with – and it handles it. I am constantly amazed.”
Luo Ding (leg classification 13th place): “I’m a little disappointed. The special stage was very bumpy. Apart from that we had a little rendezvous with a fallen tree trunk. I had to say goodbye to my right wing mirror. Doesn’t matter. Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully it’ll be a little better for us.”
Paul Watson (leg classification 15th place): “There is just one way to describe this leg: absolutely trouble free. Compared to yesterday we had not one problem. David Morley and I have made a plan prior to the Transsyberia and we are still on course. And we will stick to it. We don’t panic that quickly – it takes more than a messed up special stage. Still, we managed to overtake a couple of vehicles on the track. Slow but sure. It’ll be fine.”
Carles Celma (leg classification 11th place): “As we had to start very late in today’s special stage due to yesterday’s result, we experienced a lot of traffic. We always had to wait for the right moment to overtake the participants ahead of us. We are not going to take any unnecessary risks – not on day two. We did what we could. I think we are in good form and have found a rhythm to put us at the front. Don’t discount us yet!”
The third of a total of 14 legs on 13th July runs from Kazan to Yekaterinburg and at 986 kilometres is the longest of the entire rally. By contrast, the special stage of 10 kilometres in the shortest. The Transsyberia Rally on 11th July on Moscow’s Red Square and finishes on 25th July in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar after a total of 7,000 kilometres.
Overall classification 2008 Transsyberia Rally after the 2nd of 14 legs
1. Gameiro/Figueiredo Team Portugal Porsche 2:22.50 hours
2. Lavieille/Borsotto Team France Porsche 0:05.45 hrs behind
3. Kern/van Kan Team Germany 3 Porsche 0:06.38
4. Al Hajri/Trenker Team Middle East Porsche 0:10.25
5. Tognana/Cassina Team Italy Porsche 0:15.29
6. Schwarz/Schulz Team Germany 1 Porsche 0:45.53
7. Levyatov/Talantsev Team Russia 1 Porsche 1:19.30
8. Pfeil-Schneider/Steuer Colombian Arrow Porsche 1:20.24
9. Baier/Steinbring Teambuctou Toyota 1:36.53
10. Rowe/Tuthill Team Great Britain Porsche 2:01.10