ROD MILLEN/RICHARD KELSEY WIN SECOND STAGE OF TRANSSYBERIA RALLYE AS WATER HOLE TAKES TOLL ON FIELD; PORSCHE CAYENNES HOLD TOP NINE POSITIONS IN TWO-WEEK EVENT
VLADIMIR, Russia -- August 5, 2007 -- The second stage of the Transsyberia Rally 2007 will be remembered by some participants for a long time - torn off bumpers and rear ends, one engine failure, and one flooded electronic steering gear. Those are the preliminary results of the second day. A knee-deep water hole on the 18 mile-long special testing route near the Russian village of Wjasniki, caused many drivers considerable difficulties.
Fastest on the special stage were Rod Millen (New Zealand) and Richard Kelsey (USA) in Team North America #2 Porsche Cayenne. They improved to their fourth position in the overall classification behind Carles Celma (Spain) and Jorn Pugmeister (Germany), who had won the first stage on Friday in the German Team Press Porsche Cayenne. The first nine positions in the class are occupied by Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia vehicles, followed by a Toyota in tenth.
Near the Russian village Wjasniki, sandy tracks, water crossings, and a provisional bridge made of logs gave the drivers considerable problems. The leading Spaniard Carles Celma and his German co-driver Joern Pugmeister steered their Porsche Cayenne Transsyberia into the water before looking for a shallow place. Their car got stuck in the middle of the water hole. Team Germany #1 of Armin Schwarz and Oliver Hilger profited from the mistake of the Spanish-German team, and overtook their stuck Porsche to finish third on the stage and take the overall rally lead. Afterwards from the bank, Schwartz/Hilger pulled their competitors out of the wet trap with a rope winch.
That wasn't enough though to win this stage, however, as American Rod Millen and his New Zealand co-driver Richard Kelsey crossed the water hole without problems, and earned the fastest time.
"That was a great special stage test. A great test for Mongolia." said Millen at the finish-line.
The other two North American also got stuck in the water hole, but teamwork helped both teams continue on their way. Kees Nierop and Laurance Yap, who had entered the stage in fourth place overall in their Team North America #1 Porsche Cayenne, were stuck in the mud when the Jeff Zwart/Paul Dallenbach Cayenne came by and helped pull them out. Then Zwart and Dallenbach got stuck, and Nierop/Yap pulled them out. The teams finished 16th and 18th respectively on the stage.