The border crossing from Russia into Mongolia took a total of eight hours for the 33 competitors contesting the Transsyberia Rally. In the early evening all teams reached the camp in Olgy after 197 kilometres. There the teams now have a full day to prepare their cars for several hundred tough kilometres of special stages on a gravel and rock-strewn surface.
Heading the rally is ex-European rally champion Armin Schwarz (Austria) and Oliver Hilger (Germany) in their 385 hp Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia with the starting number 10.
What counts most in the stages through Mongolia are not only speed but more so navigation and a good eye for the condition of the route. Those who exceed the specified ideal time or miss a control point will receive a time penalty.
Saeed Al-Hajri declared that the stony surface reminds him a lot of the desert of Jordan, but the stones are much shaper. He joked with the reporters saying that he has to be careful not to get a puncture when sleeping on these stones.
Armin Schwarz is also looking forward to the first marathon stage in Mongolia: “I’m sure the stages will be very beautiful and flowing. However, on the 400 kilometre stages you can’t let yourself be sidetracked by the overwhelming beauty of the landscape. Otherwise you miss a deep pothole and wreck the car.”