Transsyberia Rally: 320 kilometres through the Gobi desert
The eleventh of fourteen legs of the Transsyberia Rally led the participants through the northern edge of the Gobi desert. In the afternoon, 31 of the 33 teams to start reached the camp in the Mongolian town of Altai after the 320 kilometre leg. Both the Australian and Colombian Porsche teams have retired from the event. Their Cayenne S Transsyberia were badly damaged in accidents during yesterday’s eleventh leg. The pilots and co-drivers escaped with a scare and minor contusions.
Leading the field in the overall classification are the British offroad specialists Simon Garnham and Matt Garnham driving a Toyota Landcruiser. Just four minutes behind ranking second is Dr. Erik Brandenburg from Hamburg co-driven by Stefan Preuß in a replica of a Porsche Carrera Safari. “I’m optimistic that our car can last the distance to Ulan Batar,” said Dr. Brandenburg. “I built the replica myself from the body of a 1975 car. With the virtually indestructible 3.2-litre engine delivering 265 hp and with a weight of just 1065 kilograms every metre in this car is pure fun.”
The best Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia currently ranks third, with a 13 minute gap to the leader. The American duo Rod Millen and Richard Kelsey still have victory firmly in their sights. “If the route is flowing and is not too rocky we can pick up our pace. At the moment I’m trying to toe-tip my way around every stone to avoid getting punctures. The Cayenne S Transsyberia is well suited for a rally like this. Unfortunately, the tyres are the only weak point,” said Millen.
The twelfth leg of the Transsyberia Rally on Wednesday leads over 518 kilometres from Altai to Bayankhor.