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TransSyberia Rally: Porsche leg one summary

Transsyberia Rally 2008, Leg 1 Moscow - Vladimir Porsche takes lead after tough opening stage The Team Porsche Portugal is in the lead of the 2008 Transsyberia Rally powered by Sony Ericsson after the first of 14 legs. With a faultless drive...

Transsyberia Rally 2008, Leg 1 Moscow - Vladimir
Porsche takes lead after tough opening stage

The Team Porsche Portugal is in the lead of the 2008 Transsyberia Rally powered by Sony Ericsson after the first of 14 legs. With a faultless drive on rain-sodden and extremely muddy forest tracks as well as through many water crossings, Pedro Gameiro and Pedro Figueiredo relegated their Team Germany 3 opponents Lars Kern and Daniel van Kan to second position in their 385 hp Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia. Third is occupied by Christian Lavieille and Francois Borsotto (Team France), who also compete with a Cayenne S Transsyberia. A total of eight Porsche Cayenne teams rank amongst the top ten.

Already on day one, the Transsyberia has shown competitors why it is regarded as the toughest marathon rally for near-standard offroad vehicles. The 48 kilometre stage near the Russian city of Vladimir ran through boggy forest paths with deep ruts and large bumps. Due to extremely heavy rainfall in the last days the ground had become totally sodden. Puddles turned into deep water holes, placing huge demands on man and machine. "That was a fantastic special stage," said the enthusiastic winner of leg 1 Pedro Gameiro at the finish. "The reason we were able to take the lead on the first leg is largely due to the navigation skills of my co-driver Pedro. And, of course, our car. The Cayenne simply got through regardless."

Second-placed Lars Kern was also satisfied: &ldqu o;Everything ran well right from the start. The most important thing on the first legs is to get your vehicle to the finish without any major damage. And that's just what we did today. I'm looking forward to the next stages. The conditions were very difficult due to the huge volume of water, but at the wheel of a Cayenne S Transsyberia such passages are great fun."

Frenchman Christian Lavieille was also pleased with third place: "This leg was very demanding but despite a couple of problems with our navigation we had fun. We lost our way once but we found out later that just about everyone did."

Further comments from the Porsche pilots:

Said Rashid Al Hajri (4th place): "This special stage threw everything at us. Those who brought home a good result today can truly regard this as a big success. It was not easy. The critical thing was navigation. For this reason I have to compliment my co-driver. He navigated us safely to the finish. At one point we got stuck in a water hole and lost six minutes. But it doesn't matter. It's a long way to Ulaanbaatar."

Antonio Tognana (5th place): "We took a couple of wrong turns and had to go back. Naturally this cost us a lot of time. But the rally is long. To lose a couple of minutes along the way is not critical. It's how things pan out at the end that's important."

Christian Pfeil-Schneider (6th place): "Actually, everything ran very well for us. The route was extremely slushy and soft. There were huge water holes everywhere. The conditions were certainly not the easiest but we are happy. Perhaps we could have been a bit quicker. But we saw that Armin Schwarz was stuck in a water hole and we gave him a hand. That's just what you do."

Armin Schwarz (7th place): "Well, things could have gone a bit better today. We made really good time at the start and were far in the front until about half wa y through the stage. Then we got lost and later became stuck in a water hole. A huge thank you to Christian Pfeil-Schneider and Tommy Steuer who pulled us out. The Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia on the other hand ran perfectly. The car ran beautifully, even under these extreme conditions. Now we just have to wait and see how things continue. Everything is still wide open."

The second of 14 legs takes off on 12th July from Vladimir to Kazan and runs over 711 kilometres, of which 58 kilometres are a special stage. The rally started on 11th July on Moscow's Red Square and finishes on 25th July after a total of 7,000 kilometres in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.

<pre> Classification Transsyberia Rally 2008, 1st of 14 legs, Moscow - Vladimir

1. Gameiro/Figueiredo           Team Portugal           Porsche    1:04.01 hour
2. Kern/van Kan                 Team Germany 3          Porsche    0:13.42 hrs behind
3. Lavieille/Borsotta           Team France             Porsche    0:15.33
4. Al Hajri/Trenker             Team Middle East        Porsche    0:17.57
5. Tognana/Cassina              Team Italy              Porsche    0:23.52
6. Pfeil-Schneider/Steuer       Colombian Arrow         Porsche    0:48.16
7. Schwarz/Schulz               Team Germany 1          Porsche    0:57.36
8. Baier/Steinbring             Teambuctou              Toyota     1:14.49
9. Levyatov/Talantsev           Team Russia 1           Porsche    1:31.08
10. Pasetti/Groger              Lybia-Rally-Raid        Toyota     1:35.24

-credit: porsche.de

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