Day 13 -- Bayankhongor to Mongol Els Day 12 was a great day. We were 7th on the road and moved back up into the top 10. We didn't report in as we had no cell coverage and we couldn't get any satellite connection. Sorry. As for Day 13, well...
Day 13 -- Bayankhongor to Mongol Els
Day 12 was a great day. We were 7th on the road and moved back up into the top 10. We didn't report in as we had no cell coverage and we couldn't get any satellite connection. Sorry.
As for Day 13, well no Good deed...
We're sorry we didn't get back to you earlier, but we didn't get to the end of the stage until after 1:00am this morning.
Things started out great and we were making good time. It was pretty obvious, however, that unless someone dropped out, we were not going to be able to move up in the final standings. That being said, we kept going as hard as we could, just in case...
At about the 110km point we came upon Armin Schwarz and Andi Schulz, who had an alternator failure. And while we were pretty much out of it, Armin has a chance to win the whole thing. So we lashed Armin and Andi's Team Germany #1 to our trusty Cayenne and proceeded to tow them through the stage.
After a while we realized we too were starting to have an alternator problem. We pulled Armin for as long as we could. But finally, after almost two TransSyberia Rallys, nearly 10,000 incredibly tough kilometers, two Leipzig training sessions and about 25 laps of Daytona International Speedway (including running flat out on the banking with 917s, 962s and the RS Spyder!) at Rennsport Reunion III, our transmission gave out. Towing Armin was just too much for the old girl. At that point, Armin and Andi took an hour and repaired their alternator, then continued on their way.
The support truck came along and towed us in to the end of the stage. After assessing the damage -- the trans, the alternator and the lingering effects of the suspension and CV joint damage we suffered the other day, the technicians basically said it was too much to repair, so Team USA is out of the 2008 TransSyberia Rally. While Armin lost an hour, we were done.
We will get towed to the finish and then attend tomorrow's awards banquet.
It's funny. Colin and I feel kind of deflated, yet kind of invigorated -- while the rally wound up being disappointing in the end, we really felt like we grew. We learned a lot -- about this kind of rally and we learned a lot about ourselves. We also learned a lot about our Cayenne S. It's going to sound like a commercial, but our Cayenne took a neck of a beating. Two beatings, actually -- 2007 and 2008.
When we got to Moscow, someone said it is hard to understand just how long this trip, this adventure really is, both in time and distance. Well, it was 7,000 kilometers of some of the most beautiful landscape in the world. And Moscow seems like lifetime ago. What a great experience.
Colin and I both want to thank Porsche for this opportunity. And I hope we will be lucky enough to come back and give the TransSyberia another try, using all we have learned.
I will give you a lowdown on the awards ceremony tomorrow. Until then, thanks for coming along...
Ryan & Colin