A change in the lead at the twelfth of fourteen legs of the Transsyberia Rally: With just over a nine minute advantage, Dr. Erik Brandenburg and Stefan Preuss now head the classification of the long distance rally from Moscow to Ulan Batar with their Porsche Carrera . “A Porsche Carrera in the lead – that feels a little like the Safari Rally,” said an Dr. Erik Brandenburg enthusiastically after finishing the leg. The previous leaders, Simon and Matt Garnham, became stuck in mud with their Toyota Landcruiser and lost 1:38 hours to the best Porsche. As a result the duo were relegated to twelfth in the overall classification.
Eight Porsche teams achieved the optimal time of four hours and hence first place in today’s classification. The special stage over 285 kilometres from Altai to Bayankhor led over fast gravel tracks but also through rocky sections. Reaching the destination after Brandenburg/Preuss were the Cayenne teams of Pau Soler und Laia Peinado, Said Al-Hajri and Tim Trenker, Armin Schwarz and Oliver Hilger, Oliver Schmidt and Thomas König, Rod Millen and Richard Kelsey, Jeff Zwart and Paul Dallenbach as well as Adel Abdulla and Norbert Lutteri.
Another Porsche team has retired from the competition: The vehicle of Canadians Kees Nierop and Yap Laurance rolled at high speed. Thanks to the excellent passive safety of the Porsche Cayenne , which is fitted with a safety cage for the rally, both came away from the accident with light injuries and a fright. They turned up at the camp in Bayankhor just in time for dinner.
“That was a fantastic stage. We all found the waypoints and on the fast section our Cayenne S Transsyberia practically flew,” said a pleased Said Al-Hajri from Team Middle East, who now ranks sixth in the overall classification.
Ex-European rally champion Armin Schwarz also seemed satisfied with his performance: “Where the route allowed I picked up my pace and on the extremely rocky terrain I went easy of the car. The tyres lasted and the Cayenne again ran like clockwork.”
The thirteenth leg of the Transsyberia Rally on Thursday leads from Bayankhor to Mongol Els. This particularly tough stage with many water crossings is 333 kilometres long.
Overall classification after 12 of 14 legs:
1. Erik Brandenburg/Stefan Preuss, Porsche Carrera, 7:20.40.92 hours
2. Rod Millen/Richard Kelsey, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 9.04.19 minutes behind
3. Adel Abdulla/Norbert Lutteri, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 14.26.65 minutes behind
4. Antonio Tognana/Carlo Cassina, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 16.56.61 minutes behind
5. Armin Schwarz/Oliver Hilger, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 22.15.22 minutes behind
6. Said Al-Hajri/Tim Trenker, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 22.54.51 minutes behind
7. Oliver Schmidt/Thomas König, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 27.08.52 minutes behind
8. Lars Kern/Daniel van Kann, Suzuki Grand Vitara, 47.03.16 minutes behind
9. René Metge/Silvain Reisser, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 1:02.57.47 hours behind
10. Pau Soler/Laia Peinado, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 1:02.58.43 hours behind