Saturday
May022015

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.”

 

Wednesday
Apr222015

Gordon Finishes Third at SST Grand Prix of Long Beach 

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 19, 2015) – E.J. Viso of Caracas, Venezuela won the third annual Speed Energy Stadium Super Trucks Presented by Traxxas race at the Long Beach Grand Prix Sunday by an impressive distance over Traxxas driver Sheldon Creed of Alpine, Calif. Viso’s 5.2-second winning margin was uncharacteristically large for an SST race, and was due to the tremendous battle taking place behind him between Creed, Arizona’s Gavin Harlien, California’s Robby Gordon and Arizona’s Scotty Steele.

Harlien, who battled with Viso for much of the event, controlled the majority of the race with aggressive braking around the 1.968-mile 11-turn street circuit, giving the veteran road racer Viso all he could handle throughout the event. “This is as much fun as I have ever had racing,” Viso said. “Harlien did a great job, especially by out braking me the entire race. He did an awesome job and it was only because I finally got around him and he got in a battle with some other trucks that I was able to get away.”

Coming through the 180-degree turn 11 just before the white flag and final lap started, Harlien and Creed touched in the middle of the slow right hander which caused Harlien to spin and give up the third spot to Gordon. “I should have never looked in my mirror, but when I did all I could see was orange, and it made me a little tense,” said the 16-year-old Harlien referring to Gordon’s bright orange SPEED Energy/Traxxas-sponsored truck. “We ran a good race but I just let that little extra pressure get to me.”

Creed displayed his normal spectacular style by flying higher and farther than any other competitor in the field over the four man-made ramps located throughout the circuit. Several times he launched off of the two front-stretch ramps nearly landing on Harlien in front of him. Creed: “There were a couple of times that I really thought I was going to land on him. I’m doing a really good job in qualifying, and we’re three for three in fast laps. Gavin did a great job and he made his truck really wide and tough to pass. He ran a great race and I was lucky to get around him.”

With a full inversion of the starting lineup from qualifying, the fastest qualifier in each race starts at the rear of the field. Creed has been the fastest qualifier at SST’s first three events of 2015 which also included the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, Australia and the St. Petersburg Grand Prix.
LIVE/Think Loud Entertainment driver Scotty Steele was fourth, Traxxas driver Keegan Kincaid finished fifth, Harlien was sixth, off-road veteran but newcomer to SST Dale Dondel was seventh in the Roberts Racing SST and Charles Dorrance of Austin, Texas in the Three Bears Racing SST was eighth.

LIVE/Think Loud Entertainment’s Bill Hynes of Nazareth, Pa. was ninth, followed by Toyo Tires driver Kyle LeDuc in 10th, Erik Davis in the Always Evolving SST in 11th and St. Petersburg winner Burt Jenner in the Gladiator SST finished 12th after a suspension failure on lap four. The Stadium Super Trucks will take several weeks off before returning to the Belle Isle Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix in late May. The trucks will then be featured as part of X Games Austin and immediately return to the streets of Toronto for the Toronto Grand Prix.


Wednesday
Apr222015

Robby Gordon Grabs a pair of Third Places Finishes at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 28, 2015) – Sheldon Creed and E.J. Viso battled door to door in the closing laps of the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS race at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix Saturday, before Viso made a critical error allowing the 17-year-old Creed to overtake him and cruise to victory for his second win of the young season.

Viso entered the final lap with the slim lead over Creed, and the two crossed the first of four ramps on the 1.89-mile street circuit together with Creed on a preferred inside line. Creed, who also won Round Two in Adelaide, Australia last month, nearly lost control of his truck with the aggressive move to the inside of Viso, but the Alpine, Calif. TRAXXAS-sponsored driver gathered his truck and made the pass only to give it up to Viso in the next turn. With the race seemingly in control, the Caracas, Venezuela driver overdrove turn 10 which again opened the inside lane to Creed who capitalized for the final time.

Viso’s aggressiveness cost him three spots and he finished fourth. Keegan Kincad, a teammate to Creed in another TRAXXAS-sponsored truck, finished second with the SPEED Energy entry of Robby Gordon coming home third.

The battle between Creed and Viso brought the already enthusiastic crowd to its feet, many of the fans having never experienced the flying trucks in person. As Creed, Kincaid and Gordon conducted post-race interviews and signed autographs, fan after fan thanked the drivers from the exciting show they put on, many of them expressing that the SST race was the most enjoyable auto race they have ever attended.

The SST trucks will complete their St. Petersburg Grand Prix weekend Sunday with round five of the season at 2:10 p.m.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 29, 2015) – Burt Jenner captured the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS Stadium SUPER Trucks race No. 2 at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix Sunday, upstaging what was an amazing first race that took place Saturday.

Jenner led nearly the entire race after inheriting the lead from Scotty Steele on lap three, who had mechanical issues and retired from the race. Jenner made the drive to his first SST victory look easy, but it was the battle that took place behind him that was anything but. Venezuelan E.J. Viso in his LIVE/Think Loud Entertainment truck and Alpine, California’s Sheldon Creed in his Traxxas-sponsored truck had a tremendous battle Saturday, and again found themselves side by side for much of Sunday’s final. In fact, while battling for second place on the final lap the two aggressive drivers ended up literally hooked together and almost on top of each other for much of an entire straightaway before getting separated.

While the two battled together, Traxxas’ Keegan Kincaid and SPEED Energy driver Robby Gordon overtook the two and finished second and third respectively. Creed finished fourth and Viso fifth. Mexicali, Mexico’s Lalo Laguna finished sixth in the RPM off-road SST, Charles Dorrance of Austin, Tex. finished seventh in the Three Bears Motorsports/Go Puck SST, Erik Davis of Burbank, Calif. finished eighth in the Always Evolving/RePlay XD truck with Steele of Peoria, Ariz. and Bill Hynes of Nazareth, Penn., each driving LIVE/Think Loud Entertainment trucks, finishing 9th & 10th.

The Stadium Super Trucks will move west for the Long Beach Grand Prix April 17-19 for rounds six and seven of the season-long championship. Viso, Creed and Kincaid took rounds one through three respectively in Adelaide, Australia in February in front of the largest crowd in the history of SST with more than 280,000 receptive Australians.

Following Long Beach, the series will continue to venues with the IndyCar series including the Toronto Grand Prix and the Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix, X Games Austin, and a variety of stand-alone SST events including Los Angeles, Calif., and several new events in the Southwest, with exciting venues not yet announced.