The Porsche contingent for the 2008 ‘Transsyberia Rally powered by Sony Ericcson‘ is complete. On 11 July, twenty Cayenne S Transsyberia set off on a long journey of over 7,000 kilometres from the Red Square in Moscow to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. Porsche pilots are up against experienced marathon rally teams who have also set their sights on victory with vehicles from Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Puch, Suzuki and Toyota.
Last year’s winner Rod Millen of Team USA will not return to defend his victory. Instead, he sends his son Ryan with co-pilot Colin Godby to compete in a Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia. The two youngsters are a well-rehearsed team and have contested numerous desert rallies together in the USA. Last year’s second placed pairing, the experienced rally pilot Antonio Tognana and professional co-driver Carlo Cassina, return to the Transsyberia Rally. Team Italia places its trust in the Cayenne, which has received improvements in many areas compared to its predecessor.
Adel Abdulla (Qatar), who can look back on 17 years of rally experience, and his Italian co-pilot Norbert Lutteri aim to climb to the top of the podium. In 2007 the squad from Porsche Centre Doha secured third.
Numerous other Porsche teams also hold good chances for a win. Germany’s Lars Kern and his Czech co-driver Daniel van Kan claimed fourth last year in a Suzuki and now compete for the Hock Racing team in a Cayenne S Transsyberia. After finishing fifth last year, Pau Soler and his female co-driver Laia Peinado from Team Spain are also eager to secure a podium result.
Another favourite for the winner’s trophy is former European rally champion Armin Schwarz and double Dakar winner Andi Schulz driving for Team Germany. In 2007, Schwarz held the lead for a long period before rolling four times at high speed. Although uninjured, Schwarz was not able to continue. Sebring legend Kees Nierop and Laurence Yap from Team Canada were also involved in a spectacular accident at last year’s Transsyberia Rally and now have a score to settle in the Mongolian desert.
Also belonging to the large circle of favourites are Pharaoh Rally winner Saeed Al Hajri and Tim Trenker entered by Team Porsche Middle East as well as the Team Germany 2 with Spanish offroad specialists Carles Celma and his Dakar-experienced German co-driver Wolf-Hendrik Unger. Team France and Porsche Cars Great Britain have also signed on prominent pilots for the race. Professional race driver Christian Lavieille, winner of the 2001 Trophée Andros and the former co-pilot of Jean-Louis Schlesser at the Dakar Rally, Francois Borsotto, contest the Transsyberia Rally for the first time. Between them they have a wealth of offroad experience. The British Group N world rally champion Martin Rowe and his co-pilot Richard Tuthill will also attempt to utilise the full potential of the 385 hp Cayenne S Transsyberia.
During the rally a Porsche service team will assist the teams racing a Cayenne S Transsyberia with maintenance and repairs.
Partnering Porsche’s involvement for the first time this year is the C. & A. Veltins brewery. Already active as a team sponsor in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, the premium brand will utilise the rally by means of a comprehensive communication package and host an exclusive customer event at the start in Moscow. With an output of 2.64 million hectolitres, the brewery is one of the largest in the industry. Mobil1 and BFGoodrich team up as Porsche partners at the Transsyberia. Like last year, all Cayenne teams place their trust in Mobil1 lubricants. BFGoodrich supply special offroad tyres, which increase the ground clearance by 30 millimetres compared to last year through higher flanks.
Porsche teams at the 2008 Transsyberia Rally
Driver, Co-driver, Team
Ryan Millen, Colin Godby, Team USA
Kees Nierop, Laurence Yap, Team Canada
Horst Eckert, Armin Zwilling, Hock Racing 1
Lars Kern, Daniel van Kan, Hock Racing 2
Martin Rowe, Richard Tuthill, Porsche Cars Great Britain
Yoshifumi Ogawa, Hirohisa Kaneko, Porsche Japan
Antonio Tognana, Carlo Cassina, Porsche Italia
Christain Lavieille, François Borsotto, Team France
Pau Soler, Laia Peinado, Spanish Team
Pedro Gameiro, Pedro Figueiredo, Portuguese Team
David Morley, Paul Watson, Team Unfinished Business
Adel Abdula, Norbert Lutteri, Porsche Centre Doha
Said Rashid Al Hajri, Tim Trenker, Porsche Middle East
Christian Pfeil-Schneider, Tommy Steuer, Team Colombian Arrow
Denis Levyatov, Sergey Talentsev, Porsche Russia Team 1
Sergey Kvashnin, Alex Pavlovsky, Porsche Russia Team 2
Fedor Fedorov, Mikhail Bardashov, INTEKO
Luo Ding, Eddi Keng, Team Porsche China
Armin Schwarz, Andi Schulz, Team Germany 1
Carles Celma, Wolf-Hendrik Unger, Team Germany 2