TEAM PORSCHE USA CRACKS TOP TEN AS TRANSSYBERIA REACHES HALFWAY POINT
ATLANTA - Ryan Millen and Colin Godby, far away from their suburban Southern California home, but not far from the Siberia-Mongolia border, moved up into the top ten overall after the sixth stage ending near the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk. The pair now stands ninth overall after finishing seventh in today's stage six.
"Our strategy of working hard at conserving our Cayenne S TransSyberia seems to really be paying off. We've been watching a lot of the other guys really punishing their equipment and Colin and I are convinced that they are going to be in big trouble once we get to Mongolia. Once again today, we took another rear start as it was really dusty again and the rain they had predicted was a no-show. Except this time, we weren't alone - a bunch of the other guys picked up on our strategy and thought it was a pretty good idea. It's getting crowed at the back!," said Millen, who has both rally and Baja experience.
"As our goal was to be back in the top ten by the time we crossed into Mongolia, I'd say we're right on target. We're still negotiating with the organizers to get some of the time back that they docked us on the first day when everyone got bottled up behind a bunch of vehicles stuck in the mud during that first Special Stage. If we can get those 30 minutes back, we'll really be in the thick of it. Tonight will be our last night in a real, live hotel until we get to Ulaan Baatar. We start camping out tomorrow. And from what I hear from my Dad, it is quite an experience. Sand storms, thunderstorms, the whole deal. Colin and I go camping a lot, so this will be fun - as long as there are no sandstorms, thunderstorms... You get the picture. Maybe here is another instance where being a little younger will give us a performance advantage - no stiff backs in the morning!"
Millen said In the overall classification, Said al Hajri and Tim Trenker of Team Middle East have taken over the lead after securing the fourth quickest time today. Team France follows with a gap of 1.36 minutes. Lars Kern and Daniel van Kan from Team Germany 3 sit third, 8.26 minutes behind. Drivers of Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia vehicles occupy the first eight places.
Team Italy, however, has retired. At arguably the world's toughest marathon rally for near-standard vehicles, Antonio Tognana and Carlo Cassina drove over a bump too quickly. Afterwards, Tognana complained of back pain. The Italian was taken to Novosibirsk hospital for treatment before being flown home with suspected spine injuries. The thirteen fastest times were set by Porsche Cayenne teams. The seventh of a total of 14 legs runs from the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk on 17 July to the first camp in Kosh Agash. The special performance stage of the seventh leg has been cancelled, due to Team Italy's accident which has left only one emergency vehicle available.
The Transsyberia Rally started on 11th July on Moscow's Red Square and finishes on 25th July in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar after a total of over 7,000 kilometres.
Overall classification Transsyberia Rally 2008 after the 6th of 14 legs
01. Al Hajri/Trenker Team Middle East Porsche 4:15.19 hrs
02. Lavieille/Borsotto Team France Porsche 0:01.36 hrs - behind
03. Kern/van Kan Team Germany 3 Porsche 0:08.26
04. Gameiro/Figueiredo Team Portugal Porsche 0:24.46
05. Schwarz/Schulz Team Germany 1 Porsche 0:26.35
06. Levyatov/Talantsev Team Russia 1 Porsche 1:08.32
07. Pfeil-Schneider/Steuer Colombian Arrow Porsche 1:40.16
08. Abdulla/Lutteri Team Qatar Porsch 1:55.49
09. Millen/Godby Team USA Porsche 2:17.50
10. Baier/Steinbring Teambuctou Toyota 2:19.54