The Transsyberia Rally 2008 powered by Sony Ericsson is on the final stretch and the suspense is growing. Armin Schwarz and Andi Schulz from Team Germany 1 are not ready to settle for second and in hot pursuit of Christian Lavieille and Francois Borsotto from Team France. With their fifth leg win on the rally’s longest 407 kilometre special stage, they shortened their gap to the Frenchmen by another 35 minutes. The German pair has just two more gruelling stages to close the gap of 1:25 hours.
“It’ll be almost impossible,” said both Schwarz and Schulz, “but we’re not giving up.” The two put in an immaculate drive on the marathon stage and were very pleased with their result. “That was a perfect day. Today’s route was great. We stuck with our strategy of not losing time and not taking any unnecessary risks. Andi got us through without one mistake and constantly navigated me in the right direction,” said Schwarz.
Lavieille and Borsotto were also satisfied with their result. “We didn’t take any risks and brought our Cayenne home without one scratch. This is exactly our plan for the next few days,” predicted Borsotto.
Pau Soler and Laia Peinado of Team Spain also gave a good performance, finishing second on the leg behind Schwarz/Schulz, and relegating Team Portugal from second position in the overall classification. Third place went to Adel Abdulla and Norbert Lutteri from Team Qatar, who damaged their vehicle so badly that it is uncertain whether they can continue.
The thirteenth leg of the Transsyberia Rally runs over 390 kilometres from Bayankhongor to Mongol Els. The 172 kilometre special stage leads through many rivers and almost impassable terrain. 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.
Overall classification Transsyberia Rally 2008 after the 12th of 14 legs
1. Lavieille/Borsotto Team France Porsche 22:46.083 hrs
2. Schwarz/Schulz Team Germany 1 Porsche 1:24.54 hrs behind
3. Soler/Peinado Team Spain Porsche 2:24.06
4. Gameiro/Figueiredo Team Portugal Porsche 2:33.00
5. Levyatov/Talantsev Team Russia 1 Porsche 3:40.43
6. Celma/Unger Team Germany 2 Porsche 6:54.15
7. Baier/Steinbring Teambuctou Toyota 9:05.58
8. Pfeil-Schneider/Steuer Colombian Arrow Porsche 10:27.56
9. Szustkowski/Kazberuk STT Racing Porsche 13:12.33
10. Millen/Godby Team USA Porsche 15:35.06
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