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Trans-Syberian Rally Presentation Night – 14 Nov 2007

Despite only 2 attendees actually owning Cayennes (yours truly being one of them!) an excellent attendance (20) experienced the insights and anecdotes from PCM’s Paul Watson who participated in the Trans Syberian Rally.

What is the Trans-Syberian Rally? The Transsyberia 2007 combines the adventure of a touring rally with the challenges of a highly competitive motor sport event and is one of the most difficult rallies for standard vehicles. On August 3rd, 2007, 33 international teams started the 4414 mile long stretch from the Red Square in Moscow, close to the Basilica. The finish-line flag came down 14 days later, on August 17th, 2007 in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. The participants had to show what they and their cars were able to do off-track in ambitious special tests.

Along with the daily stages covering up to 950 km (594 miles), rally participants are required to master a series of special test stages. These gruelling stretches demand maximum performance from rally teams and vehicles. The special stages include a difficult river crossing in Siberia and several demanding trial stretches. Special stages in Mongolia require expert navigation skills and the ability to negotiate sand dunes in the Gobi Desert. Driving ability as well as navigation capability and team spirit were challenged.

Paul provided insights into Russia (very useful for those who have never been…and now may never go!) from the mafia controlled economy to Russian traffic which never appears to end; how the best laid plans can all become complete chaos – no cars, no parts, no rules; the trials and tribulations of many of the participating teams – floating cars, flooded cars, bogged cars, incomplete and damaged cars, useless maps, free wandering wildlife, “closed rally stages” which the Russians use regardless (logging trucks, Comer Vans towing jet-skis, etc), the grueling hours required at the wheel to complete rally stages – (280 kms in 13 hours due to the difficulty of the terrain!), the efforts and equipment of the support crews to keep cars in the event; the hospitality of the Mongolians – wherever you may be, they seem to appear from nowhere and disappear just as amazingly; the contrast of the Russian, Siberian and Mongolian landscapes – Paul’s images definitely changing perceptions (Siberia is a beautiful place); and the accident which exited the Australian entry.

Overall, the presentation provided all attendees with cultural insights into Russia and Mongolia and an appreciation for the basic Russian and Mongolian existence - a way of life which parallels the early to mid 1900’s which we would no doubt find extremely frustrating and seek to escape - as well as highlights from the perspective of a rally participant.

I would sincerely like to thank:

1. Paul for sharing his experience with us despite the spinal compression injuries he sustained in the accident (of the event, not the presentation night!) and wish him a speedy recovery – all of which he would gladly relive to do it again in a year’s time…can’t wait for the next installment!;

2. Keith Ryding and Jolanda Brezovec who saved the Register bacon at the last minute by providing a superb venue as our original venue cancelled at the last minute on Monday; and

3. Those attendees, who despite not owning a Cayenne enthusiastically supported the event - hope you all liked the images of the one 911!

Check out a selection of images form the rally below.
For more images visit http://www.transsyberia-rallye.com/

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