Porsche continues to confirm the fact that it has the best cars competing at the 2008 Transsyberia Rally due to the first nine places occupied by the Cayenne S Transsyberia vehicles. The end of the 7th leg brought Al Hajri and Trenker, drivers of the Team Middle East Porsche, in the first place of the classification while the second place was occupied by Lavieille and Borsotto, the drivers of the Team France Porsche and Kern/van Kan, drivers of the Team Germany 3.
More details after the jump!
The Porsche teams have successfully completed all the Russian special stages of the Transsyberia Rally 2008 powered by Sony Ericsson. The first nine places of the overall classification at the half-way point of the rally are occupied by Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia vehicles. The seventh leg of almost 900 kilometres led the competitors from the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk to the first tented camp near Kosh Agash in the Altay mountains. The originally planned seventh special stage had to be cancelled due to an accident involving Team Italy on the previous day, which left only one emergency vehicle available.
On 18 July at the eighth of a total of 14 legs, competitors cross the border into Mongolia. Due to the lengthy customs clearance no special stage will be run. 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 7,000 kilometres.
Comments from the Porsche pilots:
Said al Hajri (Team Middle East): “The first week of the 2008 Transsyberia is over and we are in the lead. You can’t do better than that. It’s great to lead such a rally. Now we are preparing ourselves for what’s to come. We can be proud of what we have achieved by now. We will be ecstatic if we can finish the rally in the top three.”
Francois Lavieille (Team France): “Today was the first of three free days. We could recover a bit, we can do some maintenance work on the car to prepare for the second part of the Transsyberia in Mongolia. This is where the rally gets really serious. Unlike in Russia navigation is everything. That suits us. If we can reach the finish in second we’ll be extremely pleased.”
Lars Kern (Team Germany 3): “We’re very happy with the first part of the rally. Now we have to underline what we have already achieved. It would be a huge success for Daniel and me if we could still be up the front at the finish line.”
Pedro Gameiro (Team Portugal): “We are currently in fourth – that is a great position to be in heading into the rest of the rally. Of course we are somewhat disappointed that we lost the lead yesterday. We face a new challenge now – namely to start at the back. But we will continue to drive carefully. Our strategy is to get the car to Ulaanbaatar intact.”
Armin Schwarz (Team Germany 1): “I’m very satisfied. After not such a great start, everything then ran as we had hoped. The modified Cayenne is super! The car is fun to drive and handles the special stages without a problem. In Mongolia we’ll continue at an easy and somewhat slower pace than in Russia, as the stages are much longer there. We are very optimistic that we’ll finish at least in the top five.”
Overall classification Transsyberia Rally 2008 after the 7th of 14 legs
1. Al Hajri/Trenker Team Middle East Porsche 4:15.19 hrs
2. Lavieille/Borsotto Team France Porsche 0:01.36 hrs behind
3. Kern/van Kan Team Germany 3 Porsche 0:08.26
4. Gameiro/Figueiredo Team Portugal Porsche 0:24.46
5. Schwarz/Schulz Team Germany 1 Porsche 0:26.35
6. Levyatov/Talantsev Team Russia 1 Porsche 1:08.32
7. Pfeil-Schneider/Steuer Colombian Arrow Porsche 1:40.16
8. Abdulla/Lutteri Team Qatar Porsche 1:55.49
9. Millen/Godby Team USA Porsche 2:17.50
10. Baier/Steinbring Teambuctou Toyota 2:19.54