The first special stage of the Transsyberia Rally in Mongolia was without doubt full of drama. The 106 kilometre stage near Olgy led over winding routh gravel paths and through swamps. Due to numerous wheel changes during the stage, Armin Schwarz (Austria) and Oliver Hilger (Germany) forfeited the lead and now lie seventh in the classification. The best-placed crew driving a Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia are the Americans Rod Millen and Richard Kelsey, who finished the ninth leg in fifth and currently rank third overall. Due to a car accident involving several Mongolian marshals on the journey to Olgy, the stage was shortened from the original 300 kilometres to 106 kilometres.
“That was a tough day of work. Hardly anyone made it over the distance without a puncture. Particularly on the stony sections there was a real danger of damaging the car. For this reason I drove especially carefully,” said Rod Millen.
“Today nothing ran to plan. Above all, when we were changing our first puncture, the car slipped off the jack in heavy rain and we lost at least ten minutes,” reported ex-European rally champion Armin Schwarz.
The tenth leg of the Transsyberia Rally runs over a distance of 330 kilometres from Mankhan to Darvi.
Overall classification after 9 of 14 legs:
1. Simon Garnham/Matt Garnham, Toyota Landcruiser, 3:16.12.84 hours
2. Erik Brandenburg/Stefan Preuß, Porsche Carrera, 4.28.07 minutes behind
3. Rod Millen/Richard Kelsey, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 13.32.26 minutes behind
4. Oleg Rastegaev/Konstantin Sorokin, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 15.52.45 minutes behind
5. Antonio Tognana/Carlo Cassina, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 17.05.95 minutes behind
6. Adel Abdulla/Norbert Lutteri, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 18.54.72 minutes behind
7. Armin Schwarz/Oliver Hilger, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 26.43.29 minutes behind
8. Said Al-Hajri/Tim Trenker, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 27.22.58 minutes behind
9. Richard Meaden/Neil Hopkinson, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 28.54.26 minutes behind
10. Oliver Schmidt/Thomas König, Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, 31.36.59 minutes behind