Gordon Wins Inaugural Mexican 1000 Pro Unlimited Class Team Dakar USA Ready for Multi-Car Effort with the Introduction of a Second HST Gordini
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico (April 30, 2015) – Robby Gordon won the inaugural Pro Unlimited Class of the NORRA Mexican 1000 Wednesday in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, but rather than a trophy it was his spectacular Gordini that had the driver excited at the end of the four-day 1,334-mile off-road rally.
Normally reserved for vintage off-road cars, trucks and buggies which race the Mexican 1000 to preserve the memory of the glory days of off-road racing, Gordon and NORRA teamed this year to provide an Ensenada to Cabo route for modern Pro Unlimited cars and trucks in the famed deserts of Baja. Gordon raced the second HST Gordini built specifically for the Dakar Rally, and the machine performed flawlessly each of the four days.
Introduced in the 2014 Dakar Rally, the world’s most watched and grueling automobile race that takes place each January in South America, the first HST Gordini only recently arrived back to its North Carolina home following a top-20 effort in the 2015 Dakar Rally. The HST Gordini that Gordon raced in the Mexican 1000 was an replica Gordini with 2016 Rally improvements that was raced and tested for the 2016 Dakar. The team will stay in Mexico for another 300+ mile race this Saturday in LaPaz to Constitution and Back to LaPaz as it will be considered another special.
“The Gordini ran perfectly, and if not for me hitting a rock and damaging the drive shaft on the final day during a transfer special, we would have run the entire 1,300-plus miles trouble free,” Gordon said. “Certainly you enter every race with the intention of winning, but more importantly we gave the Gordini a pounding in tough Baja conditions for more than 15 hours of race time.” And there is more to come on Saturday.
While the elevation and heat of the Andes Mountains of South America could not be simulated during the race in Baja which was conducted mainly at sea level, the suspension, braking and handling of the car passed with flying colors.
“Our plan for the 2016 program includes at least two cars and hopefully more,” Gordon continued. “We now have two Gordinis completed that have experienced race conditions with both of them, and are developed to the point that allows us to take the next step in Dakar. Adding a third or even fourth car is relatively easy now that we have a spec that performs. We have gotten a lot of interest from drivers and sponsors interested in joining the team, and when they are ready we will be as well.”
The original Gordini won the final stage of the 2015 Dakar Rally and the second Gordini won all four stages it has competed in, all in the Mexican 1000. Gordon’s father, “Baja Bob” Gordon, won the Vintage Open Buggy class of the Mexican 1000 and finished second overall, with the ageless and legendary Walker Evans finishing third overall and second in the Pro Unlimited class. Finishing behind Evans were Butch Jensen, Dave Sykes and Mark Post.
Gordon has competed in the Dakar Rally since 2005 and became the first American driver to win a stage and or stages in the famed race in his first attempt. Since then he has fielded his own team in the Rally recording multiple stage victories and a top finish of third overall in 2009. No American Driver or Manufacture has ever won the overall Dakar Rally, something Gordon is desperate to change. The Dakar Rally is the most viewed motorsports event in the world; with majority of all racing series being idle during the month of January The Dakar is shown in over 190 countries with over 1,300 hours of television coverage.
“It’s difficult for American racing fans to understand the scope of the Dakar Rally,” Gordon said. “Most are accustomed to NASCAR and IndyCar racing, and maybe the 24 Hours of Daytona, but Dakar would be comparable to running 15 consecutive Indy 500s or Daytona 500s, but in the dirt, without roads and at altitudes in the Andes that literally take your breath away. I have won a lot of races in my career, but winning a Dakar Rally for America remains my No. 1 goal – as a driver or team owner.”