LA PAZ, Mexico (May 6, 2015) – After capturing the inaugural Pro Unlimited Class of the NORRA Mexican 1000 on Thursday, Robby Gordon and his HST Gordini race car, specifically built for the Dakar Rally, stayed in the La Paz, Mexico area for the weekend and entered the Dos Mares 500 off-road race, where the Gordini captured another overall title.
After blowing down the Baja California peninsula from Ensenada to La Paz over four days in the Mexican 1000, Gordon and his team’s biggest task in preparing the Gordini was sending it to a local car wash in the capital city of the State of Baja California Sur for a bath before sending it through another rugged off-road race.
Gordon drove the shorter-wheel-base and lower-horsepower Gordini in both the Mexican 1000 and Dos Mares 500 rather than his standard larger and higher-powered trophy truck in order to give the Dakar Rally vehicle additional miles under extreme conditions. Although he started at the rear of a small field of trophy trucks in the Dos Mares 500, Gordon passed all but Gary Magness on course and won the event on overall time by more than six minutes. Gordon’s running time was 4 hours, 48 minutes and 28 seconds, and Magnes’ time was 4:54:37.
“It was another great test for the Gordini and I appreciate everyone at the Dos Mares 500 allowing us to enter at the last minute,” Gordon said. “It’s a great race and I hope it continues to grow. The course was a lot of fun and it put some additional punishment on the Gordini and it continued to perform flawlessly.”
The course started in La Paz and turned east toward San Evaristo and then north along the Sea of Cortez before turning inland for Ciudad Constitucion. From there the course turned south back toward La Paz and made a long run along the Pacific Ocean.
The HST Gordini that Gordon raced in the Mexican 1000 and the Dos Mares 500 is an exact replica and was raced as a test for the 2016 Dakar. The original Gordini won the final stage of the 2015 Dakar Rally and the second Gordini has won all five stages it has competed in.
Gordon has competed in the Dakar Rally since 2005 and became the first American driver to win a stage in the famed race in his first attempt. Since then he has won more than 10 stages with his own team and a top overall finish of third in 2009. No American has ever won the overall Dakar Rally, something Gordon is desperate to change. He plans to enter a minimum of two HST Gordini’s in 2016 and could enter as many as four.
Keep up with everything Robby Gordon and the 2016 Dakar Rally by connecting on http://www.planetrobby.com and follow along with the team on Facebook and Twitter at: www.facebook.com/thespeedenergydrink, and http://twitter.com/SPEED_ENERGY.
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.
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.”