Sunday
Jan042015

American Driver Posts a Solid Second-Place Finish in Stage 1 of the Dakar Rally

VILLAS CARLOS PAZ, Argentina (Jan. 4, 2015) – American Robby Gordon got off to a fast start in the 37th Dakar Rally Sunday bringing his HST Gordini home in second place just 42 seconds behind overall leader Orlando Terranova of Argentina. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah’s had finished ahead of Terranova and Gordon, but was assessed a unspecified two-minute penalty by race officials late Sunday afternoon.

 

Gordon’s time of 1 hour 13 minutes and 54 seconds over the 170-kilometer special through rolling terrain of the Argentinian countryside bettered the times of 135 of the 137 starters. In what is considered the most difficult and dangerous race on earth, several early race favorites experienced trouble, most notably defending champion Nani Roma of Spain whose race barely started before issues surfaced putting him at a massive deficit. His troubles left him more than six hours behind, essentially ending his opportunity to repeat as Dakar Rally champion.

 

If anyone can sympathize with Roma it is Gordon, who has in recent years struggled with mechanical issues at the start of the Rally. In 2014 Gordon finished 133rd in stage 1. Today he was 130 spots better.

 

Gordon started ninth in Sunday’s first stage and will roll off the line second in Monday’s second stage from Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan, the longest stage of the Rally featuring a 518-kilometer special with hard terrain to start, dusty sections in the middle of the run and soft sand toward the finish.

 

Terranova, driving a Mini, started sixth and like Gordon moved through traffic quickly to post solid finishes. South Africa’s Giniel De Villiers came home third in his Toyota, followed by Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc in a Mini.

 

“It’s exactly where we wanted to be,” said Gordon, who along with navigator Johnny Campbell were forced to stop once losing about one minute to secure a loose door. “For us the first stage was good, very conservative. We easily had a minute in our hands there but just didn’t push it. I think we’re going to be good. Johnny did a great job and we didn’t push anything. I feel good about where we’re at and where we’re headed and it’s going to be a good Rally this year. We’ve worked very hard over the last year. Last year was an embarrassment and this year we’re going to be on it from day 1.”

 

Monday’s marathon stage to San Juan, the capital city of the Argentinian province with the same name, introduces the teams to the deserts of Argentina, one of the driest regions on earth. 

 

Follow the Dakar Rally through live timing and scoring as well as live updates at planetrobby.com. NBCSN will provide daily highlights beginning Jan. 5 from 4:30 to 5 p.m. ET.

 

High-Res Photos can be downloaded from the following link: 

 

A two-part documentary that aired earlier this month on NBCSN highlighting Gordon’s preparations for the 2015 Dakar Rally – “Robby Gordon Road to Dakar” – is available for viewing on planetrobby.com.

 

The HST Gordini is supported by SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, Traxxas, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, Momentum by Grand Design, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, King Shocks, Mastercraft Safety, Embee Performance, MAC Tools, DeWALT, Freightliner Trucks, Replay XD, Impact by Mastercraft Safety, Lincoln Electric, Torchmate by Lincoln Electric, Ron Davis Racing Products, Techni Waterjet, Hella, Mechanix Wear, Safety-Kleen, Weddle Industries, Kartek Off-Road, Team Gordon Race Wheels, Pro Am Racing Products, Anaheim Hills Auto Body. 

 

Sunday
Jan042015

Robby Gordon Greeted Enthusiastically at Dakar Rally Preliminaries

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Jan. 3, 2015) – A massive announced crowd of 800,000 enthusiastic fans hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite drivers and riders stood outside Saturday’s mandatory race briefing and opening ceremony for the 37th Dakar Rally. Many of the drivers and riders were Argentinian and others were multi-time Dakar champions, but none came close to hearing the reception from the crowd that Robby Gordon did. 

 

While all were properly recognized by the large crowd, it was the United States’ only entrant, a day after celebrating his birthday, that was surrounded by adoring fans as they let it be known who the Dakar Rally’s clear fan favorite is. After the feel-good exit from the race briefing where Gordon was surrounded by thousands, he and his team made their way to Saturday’s opening ceremonies outside Argentina’s presidential palace Casa Rosada, where thousands more waited to cheer on their favorites and wish all competitors good luck in the 14-day 9,111-kilometer race.

 

With the preliminaries complete, Gordon and his HST Gordini team are spending the final hours making preparations for Sunday’s race from Buenos Aires to Villa Carlos (Stage No. 1), where he will be one of 137 entries in the car division. Many teams will not make it back to Buenos Aires on Jan. 17 for the race finish. Last year’s winner of the car class took more than 50 hours of racing time to complete and only 62 of 147 cars finished the race.

 

The first stage will include 833 kilometers with 170 (105 miles) of those featuring hard racing before an overnight break at the first bivouac at Villa Carlos Paz. The circuit follows the heart of the Argentinean countryside with fast, sharp turns that should divide up the field on day one in a showcase of driver skill. All teams that complete the stage will work on their machines and line up again for Monday’s second stage in the order in which they finished the first leg of the Rally.

 

Villa Carlos Paz lies on the western slope of the Sierras Chicas and its population of 56,000 will be a stark contrast to the more than three million people that teams encountered in Buenos Aires. While the lakeside tourist town may be smaller, its crowds should be just as enthusiastic when the vehicles and their support teams begin arriving Monday afternoon. Many fans will come from the province of Córdoba’s capital of Córdoba City just 36 kilometers to the east.

 

While the 2015 Dakar Rally will not be won on Monday, it will become immediately clear who the contenders for the championship will be and will also likely eliminate some of this year’s top competitors.

 

Follow the Dakar Rally through live timing and scoring as well as live updates at planetrobby.com. NBCSN will provide daily highlights beginning Jan. 5 from 4:30 to 5 p.m. ET.

 

A daily update video from Team SPEED can be viewed at the following link: 
https://vimeo.com/115852676

 

A two-part documentary that aired earlier this month on NBCSN highlighting Gordon’s preparations for the 2015 Dakar Rally – “Robby Gordon Road to Dakar” – is available for viewing on planetrobby.com.

 

The HST Gordini is supported by SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, Traxxas, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, Momentum by Grand Design, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, King Shocks, Mastercraft Safety, Embee Performance, MAC Tools, DeWALT, Freightliner Trucks, Replay XD, Impact by Mastercraft Safety, Lincoln Electric, Torchmate by Lincoln Electric, Ron Davis Racing Products, Techni Waterjet, Hella, Mechanix Wear, Saftey-Kleen, Weddle Industries, Kartek Off-Road, Team Gordon Race Wheels, Pro Am Racing Products, Anaheim Hills Auto Body. 

Wednesday
Dec312014

Robby Gordon and TEAM SPEED Celebrate New Years Dakar Style

 

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Dec. 31, 2014) –The final day of 2014 was anything but a time to celebrate for Robby Gordon and his Team Dakar USA teammates. As millions in South America’s second largest metropolitan area celebrated the coming of the New Year with dinner, dancing and drinks, Gordon and his team spent New Year’s Eve putting the final touches on their HST Gordini race car for Sunday’s start of the 2015 Dakar Rally.

 

The HST Gordini is one of the most highly technical vehicles the team has ever built in Gordon’s more than 30 years of professional off-road racing. Therefore, every available moment until the start of the race will be spent fine tuning and massaging the car in preparation of 13 stages and more than 9,111 kilometers (5,661 miles) of grueling desert racing in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

 

For 2015 the team shipped its car, tools, equipment and support vehicles directly from the United States rather than through Europe as did the majority of the field of 665 cars, trucks, motorcycles and quads. This allowed the team to work on the Gordini in its Charlotte, N.C., shop until the last moment possible before trucking it to Miami for a flight to Argentina. After several short days in quarantine, the team took delivery of its Gordini Monday. With all team members now in the capital city every nut and bolt of the car is getting attention to ensure it is ready for the start of the world’s most demanding automotive challenge.

 

“Preparations for a race like the Dakar are really never complete,” Gordon said. “It is impossible to predict how your race will unfold so you prepare for every possibility and hope that most of your planning for the worst was a waste of time when you’re standing on the podium at the end.

 

“There is really no substitute for experience in a race like Dakar, and now that we are entering our 11th Rally we believe we’ve seen just about everything and know what to prepare for, but we also know there could be a new challenge around the next corner. It’s the ultimate survival test which is what makes the Dakar Rally such a tremendous event.

 

Follow the Dakar Rally through live timing and scoring as well as live updates at planetrobby.com. NBCSN will provide daily highlights beginning Jan. 5 from 4:30 to 5 p.m. ET.

 

A two-part documentary that aired earlier this month on NBCSN highlighting Gordon’s preparations for the 2015 Dakar Rally – “Robby Gordon Road to Dakar” – is available for viewing on planetrobby.com.

 

The HST Gordini is supported by SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, Traxxas, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, Momentum by Grand Design, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, King Shocks, Mastercraft Safety, Embee Performance, MAC Tools, DeWALT, Freightliner Trucks, Replay XD, Impact by Mastercraft Safety, Lincoln Electric, Torchmate by Lincoln Electric, Ron Davis Racing Products, Techni Waterjet, Hella, Mechanix Wear, Saftey-Kleen, Weddle Industries, Kartek Off-Road, Team Gordon Race Wheels, Pro Am Racing Products, Anaheim Hills Auto Body.