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.
“Already on our way to camp with a temperature outside of 30 degrees we got an idea of the character of the stages in Mongolia,” said Saeed Al-Hajri after reaching the finish of the leg in Olgy. “The stony surface reminds me a lot of the desert in Jordan, but here the stones are much sharper. We will have to be very careful not to get a puncture.”
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.”
Overall standings after 8 of 14 legs:
1. Armin Schwarz/Oliver Hilger, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 1:08.52.92 hours
2. Jarek Sliwka/Andrzej Bryl, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 0:01.89 minutes behind
3. Carles Celma/Jörn Pugmeister, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 0:51.31 minutes behind
4. Rod Millen/Richard Kelsey, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 4:46.12 minutes behind
5. René Metge/Silvain Reisser, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 4:57.64 minutes behind
6. Biagio Capolupo/Angelo Lancelotti, Porsche Cayenne S, Transsyberia 5:32.97 minutes behind
7. Richard Meaden/Neil Hopkinson, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 6:09.42 minutes behind
8. Adel Abdulla/Norbert Lutteri, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 6:48.55 minutes behind
9. Pau Soer/Laia Peinado, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 6:56.35 minutes behind
10. Simon Garnham/Matt Garnham, Toyota Landcruiser, 7:13.52 minutes behind