Porsche teams prepare together
Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia 2008
Stuttgart. Between Moscow and Ulaanbaatar they will compete against each other, but prior to the start of the 2008 Transsyberia Rally, they all pull together: In a joint intensive training from 20 to 22 May, the 19 teams – who place their trust in the Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia – undergo preparations for the famed long distance rally in July. Aside from extensive offroad driving practice, participants also learn how to handle the navigation system down pat. They also receive valuable tips from last year’s winner Rod Millen as well as from the double Dakar winner Andi Schulz.
The instruction course begins with general information on the rally. Experienced competitors share their knowledge with Transsyberia rookies. In a technology seminar, Porsche engineers instruct the drivers and co-drivers. The pilots themselves are responsible for basic maintenance work. Only when major technical problems crop up or in the case of an accident does the technical team, which accompanies the participants along the entire route, step in to help. During the course, participants also practice using the sand ladder and winch as well as vehicle recovery.
During various driving sections, competitors learn how to cope with very difficult terrain conditions as well as how to control the vehicle on fast gravel passages. The training for co-drivers far exceeds the use of special navigation equipment. Professional co-driver Andi Schulz, navigator to Armin Schwarz who contests the rally for Porsche AG, gives competitors advice on the correct preparation for complex navigation tasks. Another crucial chapter includes learning to read the terrain. Only those who can interpret the countryside from a distance can show their drivers the best route and give ample warning of deep trenches, for example.
For many of the participants, the training in and around Leipzig is the first opportunity they have had to familiarise themselves with the modified Cayenne S Trannsyberia. Compared to its predecessor, the 2008-spec features an improved suspension set-up, an optimised sump guard protection and a more robust all-terrain tyre with considerably higher side walls. The 385 hp V8-petrol direct injection power unit taken from the standard Cayenne S remains unchanged. The torquey 4.8-litre engine proved to be totally reliable during the 2007 Transsyberia, even using fuel of inferior quality, like 91 Octane.
The Transsyberia Rally takes off on 11th July in Moscow and finishes after more than 7,000 kilometres on 25th July in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.