GERMAN, AMERICAN TEAMS PENALIZED AS THE TRANSSYBERIA RALLY MOVES TO MONGOLIA ATLANTA - A setback for Porsche Team Germany 1, Porsche Germany 3 and Porsche Team USA in the Transsyberia Rally 2008 powered by Sony Ericsson: The organisers imposed...
GERMAN, AMERICAN TEAMS PENALIZED AS THE TRANSSYBERIA RALLY MOVES TO MONGOLIA
ATLANTA - A setback for Porsche Team Germany 1, Porsche Germany 3 and Porsche Team USA in the Transsyberia Rally 2008 powered by Sony Ericsson: The organisers imposed a 30-minute time penalty on Armin Schwarz and Andi Schulz as well as Lars Kern and Daniel van Kan. One day later American Ryan Millen and Colin Godby also received the same penalty.
At the fifth special stage near Novosibirsk they were not in their start positions at the scheduled time, but took up the stage within the allowed timeframe. This is not prohibited by the regulations. The organizer, however, interpreted this as "unsporting behavior" and penalized Team Germany 1, Germany 3 and USA. Schwarz/Schulz remain in fifth position overall. Their gap to the leading Team Middle East is now more than 56 minutes. Kern/van Kan fell back to fourth. Millen/Godby were relegated from position nine to thirteen.
"We lost four places in the standings, going from 9th to 13th. And the lousiest part of it is we didn't even have a special stage! Colin and I are pretty darn hot about it too!" said Porsche Team USA Cayenne S Transsyberia driver Ryan Millen.
"The organizers seem to be making the rules up as they go. They changed two rules today, both of which potentially really hurt us. The first decision was a killer. Not only for us, but for Team Germany 1 and Team Germany 3. You'll remember that we took a late start on a couple of special stages. This practice is not prohibited and is fully within the rules. In fact, it was allowed throughout the rally last year and up until a few minutes ago! But all of a sudden, the organizers interpreted taking a late start as unsporting behavior and penalized us and the two German teams 30 minutes," said Millen.
At the eighth of a total of 14 legs, competitors crossed the border into Mongolia at an elevation of over 2000 metres. Due to the incalculable length of the customs procedure at the border, no special stage was held on this day. After a rest day on Saturday the pilots of the Transsyberia Rally will contest the first leg in Mongolia on Sunday. Of the 429 kilometres to Manhan, 282 kilometres are special stage through rocky terrain and swampland. Moreover, participants will reach the highest point of the rally at a 3,500 metre mountain crossing, where possibly snow could lie. The opening stage in Mongolia is the second longest of the entire event. 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.