PORSCHEÂ® CARS NORTH AMERICA ANNOUNCES TEAMS FOR 2007 TRANSSYBERIAN RALLY Three-car North American team to tackle one of the world's most challenging rally routes in specially prepared 2008 Porsche Cayennes ATLANTA, July 11, 2007 --- Three ...
PORSCHE® CARS NORTH AMERICA ANNOUNCES TEAMS FOR 2007 TRANSSYBERIAN RALLY
Three-car North American team to tackle one of the world's most challenging rally routes in specially prepared 2008 Porsche Cayennes
ATLANTA, July 11, 2007 --- Three Cayennes from Porsche Cars North America will be among the 50 entries to the Steppes of Russia, the challenging foothills of the Urals and the fearsome Gobi Desert in this August's TransSyberian Rallye, a true contest of man and machine versus nature.
Beginning August 3rd in Moscow, the three Porsche Cayennes will set out on the 3,850-mile route traversing the Ural Mountains, winding through pristine sub-arctic forests up to the rugged peaks of the Altai Mountains, continuing across the sprawling, barren Mongolian plains and through the legendary Gobi Desert, the southernmost point of the rally, prior to reaching the finish line August 17th in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital.
"It will be a grueling 15 days," said Peter Schwarzenbauer, president of Porsche Cars North America. "I believe that this rally not only demands the most from the driver and co-driver, but from the vehicle as well. It will take power, toughness and absolute dependability to conquer the challenges this rally presents."
The three teams, two from the United States and one from Canada, are comprised of some well known names in North American Motorsports.
* Team USA 1 -- Rod Millen and Richard Kelsey
Millen has won rally championships on three continents. He has won a class victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona; dominated the Mickey Thompson Off-Road Racing series winning the truck title three years in a row; He is also a multi-time overall winner of the famed Pike's Peak Hill Climb. Kelsey has won both as a driver and co-driver At the Baja 1000, The Pike's Peak Hill Climb and the SCCA National Rally Championship
* Team USA 2 -- Jeff Zwart and Paul Dallenbach
Between Jeff Zwart and Paul Dallenbach, the team has accumulated nine overall and class championships at the Pike's Peak Hill Climb, the 2nd oldest race in the U.S. In addition Zwart has been U.S. Open Class PRO Rally champion and a class-winner at the infamous Baja 1000. Dallenbach's credentials include being a three-time winner of the Alcan Rally and includes racing in almost every professional road-race series in SCCA and IMSA
* Team Canada -- Kees Nierop and Laurance Yap
Nierop has won an overall victory in the legendary 12 Hours of Sebring in addition to numerous other endurance racing wins; Rothman's Porsche Cup champion; Co-drove the Porsche 961 (the racing version of the iconic Porsche 959) for the factory team. Laurance Yap is an award-winning journalist and photographer from Toronto, Canada who writes for such publications as Driven, the Toronto Star and CanadianDriver.Com
While the North American teams will compete against entries from Europe, South and Central America and Asia, all of the teams will have to compete again the same unrelenting elements on the plains, mountains and desert of Eurasia.
"This is an extreme form of competition and with the toll this route could potentially take on the participants, the comfort of the Cayenne will be a tremendous plus as well," said Schwarzenbauer.
The Porsche Cars North America entered teams will be competing in all new 2008 Porsche Cayenne S TransSyberias which have been specially built and prepared by Porsche for long-distance rallies and will be making their debut in the TransSyberia Rallye. The modifications are primarily to meet required safety regulations (roll cages and padding; additional seat belts, etc) and to enhance off-road durability (skid plates; auxiliary lighting, etc); the mechanical components of these specially prepared Cayennes remain unchanged including their new 4.8-liter, V8, 385 horsepower direct injection engines.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, GA, and its subsidiary, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd., are the exclusive importers of Porsche sports cars and Cayenne sport utility vehicles for the United States and Canada. A wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing.h.c. F. Porsche AG, PCNA employs approximately 250 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 213 U.S. and Canadian dealers. They, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service.