Baja Racing News EXCLUSIVE
All of the Cayennes were loaded onto flatbeds after two weeks of driving in February and shipped via container ship back to Germany! But, before they were headed back to Beerlandia, we had a chance to run one of these animals on this years Baja 1000 course. We timed the run and had some surprising results.
We participated in a press review of the most anticipated off road event of the year, surpassing the vaunted Baja 1000.
After the Russian transport air-lifted the vehicles from Frankfurt to Los Cabos in February, its been off-road heaven for pro drivers from around the world.
Pro-drivers, technicians and automotive analysts have had a hell of a time enjoying the hospitality of Baja Mexico and the fine road sense of the Porsche Cayenne.
The 2008 Porsche Cayenne drive in Southern Baja put the new offroad animal through its paces. Dirt, dunes and beach driving. The Cayenne, with tons of power (we are not allowed to report on the actual horsepower of the vehicle, except to say its nearly double of the single turbo version, currently available at dealerships) plenty of power to apply to the sophisticated all wheel drive.
A Russian Antonov transport brought them to Baja California Sur, Mexico direct from Germany. Drivers from around the world have been treated to the Best Of Baja, driving the paved and unpaved of the Cape or Cabo of the Baja peninsula for two weeks. The 2008 version of the Porsche Cayenne TWIN TURBO, specs unreleased, is the model shipped to Baja. 50 of them. The standard Turbo boasts of Performance 520 hp (SAE) @ 5,500 rpm 0-60 mph: 4.8 sec.Top Track Speed: 168 mph. MSRP $ 111,600.00.
Escorted by teams of Federales, the drivers were allowed to burn the speed limits of the local roads and the federal highways. They have been paced at over 120 miles per hour, getting around to their next locales. The off-road capabilities have been impressive.
At the dunes near San Jose and the track outside of San Lucas among other off road locales, we can't talk about, no off road event could ever surpass the vehicle, the challenges and the spirit of off road we have experienced over the last two weeks, here in Cabo. The Baja 1000 in Baja Mexico, will never be the same.
Now, with the Baja 500 in hindsight, the Germans had Baja Mexico in their targeting scope for some time, to plan and pull off the February Cayenne Los Cabos events and Volkswagon taking the Baja 500, by storm. Our forecast for the 2007 Baja 1000 for the Volkswagon, "Knights of the Desert", south of Loreto, they will be deadly fast. Is off-road prepared for a German takeover of the west coast off road glory?
The Touaregs (Knights of the Desert) and the Cayennes were developed together by Volkswagon and Porsche. Each had the same development tree. So, the frames and critical drive aspects are very similar. The impressive power of the race touareg pushes the design aspects of these vehicles over the top. With so many of the sections of the Baja 1000 course south of Loreto groomed like smooth, high-speed ski runs, this animal will shred the final one-third of the upcoming Baja 1000 in November.
Some sections south of Todos Santos, are tight, low ranch roads. Perfect for this vehicle. No nasty rock areas or trenches, that typically would force the Touareg to drop speed. Mark our words, the Touaregs will light these last stretches into Cabo on fire! Considering the fuel tank and tire distances these rocket ships get, Volkwagon Touareg 2007 Baja 1000 overall?
Teams of engineers from Germany, to oversee the runs, measured every aspect of the drives. Baja Racing News was part of the group and we will now report everything that happened here. Photos of the Cayenne performing on the open road, led by teams of Federales. And the loaded vehicles being shipped back to Germany via container ship. Pics and story loading...
Baja Racing News.com EXCLUSIVE
Here's an example of their impressive capabilities:
Rod Millen and Richard Kelsey Bring Americans Victory for Porsche Cayenne in Mongolia
Reported This week: August 17 - Driving their Team North America Porsche
Cayenne S Transsyberia, Rod Millen and Richard Kelsey outlasted a field of 39
vehicles over more than two weeks and 4,400 miles to score a 17-minute win in
2007 Transsyberia Rallye, one of the world's toughest off-road marathons.
After a two-week drive from Moscow to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, (the same
distance from Alaska to the Panama Canal) Rod Millen and co-driver Richard
Kelsey - both New Zealand-born rallyists now living in the United States,
reached the finish in the capital of Mongolia earlier today, and the challenge
for both man and machine impressed the veteran rallyist.
Millen, a resident of Tustin, Calif., said, "That was the biggest
motorsport challenge of my life. In these two weeks we all made mistakes,
both the drivers and the navigators alike. Richard and I were simply the ones to
make the least number of errors. The keys to success at such an unbelievably
hard marathon are experience and caution. We knew where we had to drive
slowly and where we could drive the Cayenne to its limit. The Cayenne
handled and performed impressively on the quick sections. And off-road,
the Porsche constantly surprised me with it capabilities."
With no pace notes or pre-running practice, Millen pointed out that
co-driver Kelsey played a vital role in the victory.
"We spent the better part of the first two weeks learning the vehicle and
being cautious about the conditions, and then turned it on the last couple of
days. Richard set the pace, pulling me back when I was trying to go too fast,
and forcing me to be patient when the terrain was rough."
It was also the first time Millen had rallied in a luxury vehicle, and
said that being comfortable and not taking a pounding during
the event made a big difference.
"Having run endurance rallies and off-road races like the Baja 1000 and
the Rally of Malaysia, I can tell you that being strapped in a racing seat
with a car that has a hard suspension makes your insides rattle.
This Cayenne was so comfortable that Richard and I did not take a beating,
yet so durable that the vehicle is in perfect shape today at the finish.
There is no question that we could start another two-week rally today
with the same Cayenne," said Millen.
Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia competitors also placed second and third.
Second was Italy's 1 team with Antonio Tognana and Carlo Cassina, while the
Quatar team with Adel Abdulla and Norbert Lutteri reached the finish to claim
third, 23 minutes behind the winner. In fact, seven of the top 10 finishers
were driving the special edition Porsche Cayenne S.
Making their debut in the Transsyberia Rallye, the all-new 2008 Porsche
Cayenne S Transsyberia models are specially built and prepared by
Porsche for long distance rallies. They have been modified primarily
to meet required safety regulations (roll cages and padding;
additional safety belts, etc) and to enhance off-road durability
(skid plates; auxiliary lighting, etc). The mechanical components
of these specially prepared Cayennes remain unchanged including
their new 4.8-liter, 385 horsepower direct injection engines.
The other North American team still running at the finish was the Jeff
Zwart/Paul Dallenbach Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia, which finished 11th
after dropping as low as 22nd place after an early mishap at one of the water
crossings. The Canadian team of Kees Nierop and Laurance Yap had a crash
earlier in the week and were unable to continue.
Rod Millen moved to the United States in the mid-'70s winning five SCCA
National rally titles as well as the FIA Asia-Pacific rally championship. He
is perhaps better known for his Baja off-road titles, his Pikes Peak wins, and
Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group stadium championships. He even has a
sports car endurance victory - the GTU title at the 1989 24 Hours of Daytona -
to his credit.
Over the course of the rally, four different teams were in the lead.
Establishing themselves at the front of the field on the first leg through
Russia, over the Urals and into Siberia were the ex-European rally champion
Armin Schwarz (Austria) with his co-driver Oliver Hilger (Germany). Up until
day nine the duo retained the lead with their Cayenne S Transsyberia.
However, three punctures on the first leg in Mongolia cost the
Germany 1 team its top position. On the 13th leg an accident put a
stop to their charge. A British Toyota Landcruiser took over
first place for the next two days until they became
bogged down in a mud hole.
Dr. Erik Brandenburg and his co-driver Stefan Preuss (both Germany)
promptly moved into the lead with their self-rebuilt 911 Carrera from 1975.
With this car, a 2,200-pound rear wheel drive 911, they dominated the 177-mile
stage 12 from Altai to Bayankhor in Mongolia, but lost positions over the
course of the following day due to deep water crossings to finish ninth.