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Transsyberia: Interview with the Leaders Simon and Matt Garnham

Q: Before the rally nobody reckoned that you would be in the lead at the Transsyberia. Why are you so successful?

A Simon: For me there are basic things: don't get stuck, don't loose your way, and drive sensibly. To have a fast car, doesn't have to neccessarily be good if you're not driving on asphalt. The Cayennes did great on-road, but now their tires seem to be a huge problem.

A Matt: I believe we have a secret weapon in the Toyota Landcruiser. With very good tires. Not once have we had to change a tire. We have been driving with the same four tires since we set off from England.

Q: Please tell me another reason for your success.

A Simon: No matter in what kind of surroundings you put us, we will always do well. Even if it looks very difficult, we will try it. When we made first place in the last stage, we didn't see another car behind us for an hour, even though there should have been 30 cars. There was a possibility that we made a mistake and lost our way, but we just kept going.

Q: How did you prepare for the rally?

A Simon: In a great hurry. A big problem was time. We only had three weeks from the point in time we bought the car until the rally started. When we found the car, we still had to prepare it, and that took another ten days.

A Matt: We had no experience whatsoever in the off-road area. We got advice from some people, which led to them preparing the car with us. When we got the car back in order to test it, it had just rained in England for 24 hours straight, and we were able to test the car under really difficult conditions. The car endured the test unbelievably well, and it has been running flawless here too.

Q: Who can still become dangerous for you in the remaining three stages?

A Matt: Erik Brandenburg and Stephan Preuß in their Porsche 911. They are tremendously fast. It will depend on how hard and difficult the stretch is. A lot will depend on navigation, and if one has done one's homework on the maps.

Q: Do you think you can win the Transsyberia Rally?

A Simon: Yes, I think so. It will depend on the routes. The more difficult they are, the better for us. If they are fast stretches, then the Cayennes and the Porsche 911 will have an advantage.

2007/08/04 | 15:34 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Transsyberia

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