The participants of the 2008 running of the Transsyberia Rallye who will be driving specially prepared Porsche Cayennes have descended upon Leipzig, Germany to prepare for the rally that runs from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar in July. Included in the teams are friend of The Garage, Laurance Yap who is posing above with the machine he will share with fellow Canadian Kees Nierop.
During this session, teams will learn the ins and outs of their Cayenne S Transsyberia and the navigation equipment. Basic maintenance and repairs are performed en-route by the driving team, while more major repairs are looked after by a team of Porsche technicians that follow the event. Teams are instructed by last year’s winner Rod Millen and pro co-driver Andi Schulz, not only in use of equipment but also with tips regarding things such as reading the terrain, vehicle extraction and how to control the vehicle at high speeds on loose surfaces. Teams with prior experience work with new teams to ease the path.
For the 2008, Porsche has used lessons learned at last year’s event to improve the reliability of the trucks. Last year the Cayenne driver’s suffered from many tire failures due to sidewall punctures and Porsche has chosen a tougher all terrain type tire with taller, stiffer sidewalls to combat this. Damaged oil pans were another sore point and Porsche has built a stronger skid plate set up to protect the engine’s vital bits. The suspension has also been upgraded.
Last year, the Canadian team’s run ended with a substantial crash at very high speed which saw the truck flip end over end before rolling. Nierop & Yap are hoping that 2008 will be the year they can show off a bit of that Canadian racing magic.
The 2008 Transsyberia Rallye departs Moscow on July 11th, finishing up more than 7000 kilometers later in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia on July 25th. We will be bringing you updates along the way here in The Garage.