On the short special stage of the Transsyberia Rally’s first leg Carles Selma (Spain) and Jörn Pugmeister (Germany) achieved the fastest time with their Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia. For the ca. 33 kilometre time trials near Petuschki between Moscow and Vladimir they took 34:15.90 minutes. Posting the second fastest time on muddy forest paths were Armin Schwarz and Oliver Hilger from Germany, finishing 20 seconds behind the fastest.
“This is a fantastic start for Jörn Pugmeister and me. For the first time in my life I’m first in a race. To be honest I didn’t imagine we could be the fastest. My front windscreen was so badly fogged up due to the high humidity that often I had to just anticipate where the track was,” said the delighted 36-year-old Spaniard. “I’m curious what the next stage has in store for us. The routes here in Russia are always good for a surprise,” added the driving instructor from Barcelona.
“Of course I would have preferred winning the first stage, but second is excellent,” said the former European Rally Champion Armin Schwarz (44). “I got stuck behind a very cautious competitor and lost several minutes. On these two-metre wide forest tracks it’s impossible to pass. Then a truck carrying wood came opposite me on a narrow section and I was forced to stop – at that point I knew we could pretty much forget about securing the fastest time. But the rally is very long and anything can happen on the really long stages through Mongolia.”
Twenty-five of the 35 participants in total to contest the 7,100 kilometre rally from Moscow to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, are Cayenne S Transsyberia built as a limited edition series. Today the convoy took off from the Red Square and drove through Moscow towards the east with a police escort.
The 385 hp V8 engine with direct gas injection not only makes the Cayenne S Transsyberia one of most competitive off-roaders to take part in the challenging event. The multi-component underbody guard, the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control adapted for extreme off-road conditions and the coarsely studded all-terrain tyres ensure that the excellent off-road characteristics of the Cayenne were further enhanced.
Giving his début as co-driver is Germany’s most well-known television magistrate Alexander Hold (Magistrate Alexander Hold on German TV SAT 1). “My respect for co-drivers grew incredibly today. To navigate at this speed is a real art. We took the wrong turn once and got terribly lost,” reported Hold, who due to his filming commitments is only able to contest the first two stages of the rally. After the first leg, Hold and his driver Jürgen Kern sit in 29th position with a gap of 22.45 minutes.