TEAM PORSCHE FRANCE INCREASES 2008 TRANSSYBERIA LEAD AFTER TEN STAGES; AMERICANS UP TO SEVENTH AFTER TWO STAGES IN MONGOLIA ATLANTA - Christian Lavieille and Francois Borsotto of Team France have further increased their lead in the overall ...
TEAM PORSCHE FRANCE INCREASES 2008 TRANSSYBERIA LEAD AFTER TEN STAGES; AMERICANS UP TO SEVENTH AFTER TWO STAGES IN MONGOLIA
ATLANTA - Christian Lavieille and Francois Borsotto of Team France have further increased their lead in the overall standings of the Transsyberia Rally 2008 powered by Sony Ericsson. In their 385 hp Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, they won leg ten of arguably the toughest marathon rally for production-based off-road vehicles with a 4:15 minute advantage over Pedro Gameiro and Pedro Figueiredo (Team Porsche Portugal), with the Portuguese still holding second in the overall results. Armin Schwarz and Andi Schulz (Team Germany 1) were first over the finish line, but missed a checkpoint and received a one-hour time penalty. In the overall classification the two Germans still rank third.
Ryan Millen and Colin Godby, from Southern California, moved into the top ten in the standings again yesterday - going from 13th to eighth overall, and have now moved into seventh after another successful stage, from Mankhan to Darvi in Mongolia today.
"What a difference a day makes in the TransSyberia! Sunday was our first Mongolian stage and it couldn't be more different than what we experienced in Russia. First of all, there are no roads in Mongolia and the roads that do exist are just dirt tracks. The special stages, if this first one is any indication, are going to be more and more rugged - and that should play right into our hands! The routes are really challenging - they had ravines, boulders, water crossings and marshy areas. It seemed like every turn had another challenge waiting for us. And the rocks were so big! And really sharp too! We found this out first hand when we had two punctures on Sunday. One was my fault - I got too close to a rock and cut the sidewall. The second, well, this area is just really tough on tires with a lot of flinty, sharp stones. I have to say that overall, the BF Goodrich tires have been nothing short of spectacular. I have heard stories from Dad (Rod Millen) about all the trouble they had last year with another brand of tire, and the BFGs have been virtually bulletproof. But even they can't save you when you drive the sidewall into a rock!," said Ryan Millen, the American driver.
Co-driver Colin Godby said the team made up a lot of time today on Stage #10, and they were glad they played it safe in the rough areas to have enough Porsche Cayenne left to go for on the fast sections.
"All I can say about Monday is WOW! When we first took a look at today's special stage, we figured it was going to be a very quick stage on mostly well defined main roads. We learned something about what goes into being a main road in Mongolia! The stage was once again a rough one, but definitely faster than yesterday. We went through tight valleys and sandy river washes; there were big ditches and a lot of big river crossings. We initially took a wrong turn (my fault) in the first few kilometers but we made up a ton of ground later on. There were some really fast sections during the mid-section of the stage. During that time we were able to stay with and then pass the second place Spanish team. Everything ran perfectly after our little detour. It rained really hard and the water crossings got pretty treacherous. Towards the end of the stage the route got extremely fast, muddy and slippery. The real decision came when we had to decide where to run - the better surface was always slightly off the main track. We were sliding all over, it really was fun!," said Godby, who has co-driven for Millen at Baja events as well.
The Americans wound up third on stage #10 and now sit seventh overall (and they would be fifth if it wasn't the penalty they were handed earlier. As it is, we are 5 minutes out of sixth place, 10 minutes out of fifth place and 50 minutes out of fourth.
The eleventh leg of the Transsyberia Rally runs from Darvi to Altay on Tuesday and totals 358 kilometres, 208 of which are special stage. 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.