Wednesday
Jan132016

Dakar Rally Stage 9 Shortened, Gordon Credited with Twenty-Fifth Position, while Creed DQ’d

 

BELEN, Argentina (January 10, 2016) – After a disastrous Stage 8 on Monday, Team SPEED teammates Robby Gordon and Sheldon Creed looked to come back with a strong effort on Tuesday, and gain some time back on the leaders as the rally would move into the dunes for the first time. 
    
The common theme of the 2016 Rally is weather, and once again it would become a major factor. This time not for heavy rain or hail, but extreme heat with temperatures exceeding 120 degrees, ASO officials decided the Special would be shortened by 100 km. 
    
Toyo Tires/TRAXXAS driver Robby Gordon would start among the top 20 in the car division for Tuesday’s race after using his second elite driver professional.  As gear issues in the previous stage relegated him to a disappointing 60th-place finish. The Stage 9 course presented many challenges with dust and complex navigation, but Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch were able to successfully race their way through the timed section and finish in a time of 4 hours, 21 minutes, 23 seconds which recorded them in the twenty-fifth position of the shortened special.
    
“Today’s special was one of the hardest I have scene in all of my Dakar’s, I’m just glad we were able to finish with no major issues,” Gordon stated after the completion of Stage 9. 
    
However the story of the day for Team SPEED, would be the notification from ASO officials of the disqualification of Sheldon Creed from the 2016 Rally. Creed, the youngest starter ever in the Dakar’s history would encounter clutch troubles during Stage 8 after getting stuck, while stopped his Toyo Tires/KMC Wheels Gordini would get hit by two other competitors causing extensive damage to the right and left side. 
    
Knowing his race vehicle was beat up, and the crew needed to get started on repairs right away for Stage 9, Creed bypassed a couple waypoints knowing he would be assessed a penalty. To the Team SPEED’s surprise today ASO officials determined his actions were severe enough to disqualify him from the rest of competition. 
    
In his first rally race at the bright age of 18-years old, Creed the 2015 Stadium SUPER Trucks Champion, proved to everyone he is a driver that is able to compete at the highest of levels with the best drivers in the world, and will be a consistent contender for the win in any form of racing he competes in well into the future. 
    
Creed went on to say, “I would like to thank Toyo Tires and Robby Gordon for believing in me, and giving me the opportunity to showcase my driving skills on a world-wide scale. This has been an absolute blast, and an experience I will remember for a lifetime. Looking forward to getting the 2016 Stadium SUPER Trucks season started in Australia in little over a month.” 
    
In the front of the pack Spaniard Carlos Sainz picked up his second Stage win of 2016, winning the shortened Stage 9 in a time of 2 hours, 35 minutes, 31 seconds. Followed closely in second by Dutchman Erik Van Loon capturing his first podium finish of the 2016 Rally at 2 hours, 35 minutes, 41 seconds, just 10 seconds behind Sainz. Mikko Hirvonen of Finland completed the stage in 2 hours, 35 minutes, and 48 seconds to finish third, while South African Giniel De Villiers was credited with fourth with a time of 2 hours, 36 minutes, 9 seconds. Stage 8 Winner Nasser Al-Attiyah would round out the top five with a time of 2 hours, 37 minutes, and 35 seconds.
    
After nine stages of the 2016 Dakar Rally Sainz has moved back into the overall lead 7 minutes, 3 seconds ahead of second place Peterhansel. Al-Attiyah would claim the third position 14 minutes, 38 seconds back, followed by Hirvonen in the fourth position 34 minutes, and 50 seconds back, while South African De Villers holds the fifth position 53 minutes, 18 seconds behind. 
    
Robby Gordon’s top twenty-five finish today would move him up to the thirtieth position in the overall standings 9 hours, 38 minutes, and 29 seconds behind. 
    
Wednesday’s decisive tenth stage of the rally will bring competitors through the Fiamblala dunes, on the longest dune section in the history of the Rally. Traditionally the HST Gordini Supercar’s are very good in the dunes, but don’t look for Gordon to take any risky maneuvers that may take him out of contention of finishing the rally in the Top-25 with only four stages remaining.  
    
Follow the quest for an American finish in the 2016 Dakar Rally for Team SPEED through live timing and scoring as well as live updates with chat at http://www.planetrobby.com and http://www.StadiumSuperTrucks.com
    
NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will provide daily highlights after each stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally at 5:30 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for exact time and channel for availability. 
    
Team SPEED is supported by the following partners; SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, TRAXXAS, KMC Wheels, Arctic Cat, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, King Shocks, Outlaw LED, Mastercraft Safety, Holley Performance, Embee Performance, MAC Tools, DeWALT, Freightliner Trucks, Replay XD, Valvoline, Impact by Mastercraft Safety, Lincoln Electric, Torchmate by Lincoln Electric, Ron Davis Racing Products, Techni Waterjet, Mechanix Wear, Saftey-Kleen, Weddle Industries, and Loctite.
    
Stage 9: Belen – La Rioja 
    
Cars
Special Section: 278 km 
Total: 763 km 
    
The Fiambala dunes have become one of the decisive stages of the Dakar. This year, they feature at the heart of the most critical rally sequence, when drivers and their vehicles will have to demonstrate their aptitude for extreme endurance. Moreover, the day’s stage presents the longest dune section in the shared history of the Dakar and Flambala, off-piste for most the time. In short, an open door for desert specialists. 

 

Monday
Jan112016

Team SPEED Suffers Major Set Backs in Stage 8 of the 2016 Dakar Rally

BELEN, Argentina (January 9, 2016) – Following a respectable eleventh-place finish in the seventh stage of the 38th Dakar Rally, Robby Gordon and Team SPEED would have high hopes for the second half of the rally following the rest day on Sunday. However, those hopes were put to the side early on in Stage 8 as both Robby Gordon and Sheldon Creed would encountered major set backs costing them valuable time on track. 
    
Robby Gordon would start the stage in the eleventh position, within striking distance of the dominant leaders, but shortly after the start of the stage Gordon would make contact with a large rock causing extensive damage to the right front wheel. Teammate twenty-second starting Sheldon Creed would need to stop on course to assist Gordon with the repairs to his HST Gordini. 
    
Although Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch were able to repair the damaged right front and get back up to race speed, the Toyo Tires/TRAXXAS HST Gordini lost over an hour of time and was passed by majority of the vehicles on the course during maintenance. 
    
Shortly after assisting Gordon, Sheldon Creed would ran into his own problems as he became stuck in the sand, and would burn up the clutch, requiring additional assistance. As Creed and navigator Jonah Street were assessing the situation and attempting to make repairs with their distress beacon on, another competitor would come barreling through where they were and strike the Toyo Tires/KMC Wheels Gordini, causing extensive right and left side damage. Between the clutch issues and damage to the vehicle Creed was left significantly behind on the racecourse, but still able to press on once all was repaired. 
    
Gordon who was able to press on and run nearly 300 km smoothly after repairs, would come to a rest again just kilometers from the finish with another issue. In the process of pushing the Gordni so hard to gain time back on the leaders, Gordon would over work the transmission and burn up the gears. Unable to get the car to move again, Gordon would look for a tow back to the bivouac. Luckily a T4 truck competitor strapped on, and towed the Toyo Tires/TRAXXAS HST Gordini to the finish at a blistering pace of nearly 80 mph. Despite being towed, Gordon will be able to start the ninth stage of the Rally on Tuesday provided there are no terminal engine issues. 
    
Gordon would finish the stage in the sixtieth position, 7 hours, 54 minutes, and 46 seconds behind the leader, while Sheldon Creed would limp his beaten and battered Gordni home in the sixty-sixth position spot, 5 hours, 39 minutes, and 17 seconds behind. 
    
Qatar driver Nasser Al-Attiyah picked up his first Stage win of 2016, winning Stage 8 in a time of 4 hours, 12 minutes, 23 seconds, followed closely by Spaniard Carlos Sainz at 4 hours, 12 minutes, 35 seconds, just 12 seconds behind. French drivers Stephan Peterhansel completed the stage in 4 hours, 12 minutes, and 54 seconds to finish third, while fellow countryman Cyril Despres finished fourth with a time of 4 hours, 17 minutes, 3 seconds. Mikko Hirvonen of Finland would round out the top five with a time of 4 hours, 19 minutes, and 5 seconds. 
    
After eight stages of the 2016 Dakar Rally Peterhansel has moved back into the overall lead today after Stage 7 overall leader Loeb would flip over and loose over an hour making repairs. Sainz would claim the second position 2 minutes, 9 seconds back, followed by Stage 8 Winner Al-Attiyah in the third position 14 minutes, and 43 seconds back. Hirvonen holds the fourth position trailing 36 minutes, 42 seconds, while South African Leeroy Poulter holds the fifth position 49 minutes, 32 seconds behind. 
    
The troubles Robby Gordon had in Stage 8 dropped him considerably in the overall standings to thirty-seventh place 7 hour, 54 minutes, and 46 second behind. Creed would also drop to the forty-second spot 9 hours, 12 minutes, 1 second back. Luckily for Team SPEED there is still five stages left to cut into their deficit in hopes of a top twenty overall finish and a Stage win. 
    
Tuesday’s ninth stage of the rally will bring competitors on their second marathon stage, on a loop northwest of the city of Belen, Argentina through scattered dunes, river beds, and harder terrains and back to the bivouac in Belen before night fall. The scenario of Stage 9 is highly suited for the HST Gordini to do well, as long as navigators Kellon Walch and Jonah Street are able to keep a clear head and make the right navigational choices, you will see driver Gordon and Creed move up considerably from their deep in the field starting positions. 
    
Follow the quest for an American podium finish in the 2016 Dakar Rally for Team SPEED through live timing and scoring as well as live updates with chat at http://www.planetrobby.com and http://www.StadiumSuperTrucks.com 
    
NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will provide daily highlights after each stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally at 5:30 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for exact time and channel for availability. 
    
Photos from Stage 8 can be downloaded at the following link below: 
    
https://app.box.com/s/xunmmpc1z7pzfbizmninbmyfrenl51k8 
    
Team SPEED is supported by the following partners; SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, TRAXXAS, KMC Wheels, Arctic Cat, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, King Shocks, Outlaw LED, Mastercraft Safety, Holley Performance, Embee Performance, MAC Tools, DeWALT, Freightliner Trucks, Replay XD, Valvoline, Impact by Mastercraft Safety, Lincoln Electric, Torchmate by Lincoln Electric, Ron Davis Racing Products, Techni Waterjet, Mechanix Wear, Saftey-Kleen, Weddle Industries, and Loctite. 
    
Stage 8: Belen – Belen 
    
Cars 
    
Special Section: 285 km 
    
Total: 396 km 
    
This loop stage will not really be one for motorbikes and quad bikes, which will finish the first part of this second marathon stage in an isolated bivouac. Prior to this they will have spent the day, alongside the drivers in the other categories, almost entirely off-piste, both in the vegetation-scattered dunes and on harder terrains, sometimes on riverbeds. Physically, the day might prove to be a significant challenge, as the mercury soars. The hardiest drivers will also be those who are the most clear-headed, able to make the right navigational choices, a major challenge of this special section.

 

Monday
Jan112016

Robby Gordon Rebounds at Dakar Rally in Stage 7 to Finish in the Eleventh Position

 

SALTA, Argentina (January 9, 2016) – American driver Robby Gordon successfully rebounded from his disappointing finish on Friday in the 38th Dakar Rally with a solid 11th-place finish in his HST Gordini during Stage 7. 
    
Slated to start 50th after a troublesome sixth stage, where Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch was running in the sixth position, became stranded on course out of fuel with less than 50 km left of the stage. Gordon rated as a Dakar Elite driver is allowed to use a mulligan for a poor finish the day before to regain a better starting position. 
    
Electing to use his mulligan Gordon started the seventh stage in the 16 position and raced out to a quick pace keeping with the leaders through KM 150. Knowing once arriving in Salta this evening Gordon and Walch would be able to re-group with the Rest Day scheduled for Sunday, Gordon pressed through the stage looking to keep the Toyo Tires and TRAXXAS backed HST Gordini in the striking distance of the leaders without damaging the race vehicle. 
    
As been the constant theme of the 2016 Dakar, weather once again became a factor in the stage as heavy rain moved in affecting the competitors near Km 200. Gordon known for having a good runs after poor finishes flirted with top-ten the entire stage holding his ground through the challenging terrain and crossing rivers. Gordon finished the Stage in the eleventh position with a time of 3 hours, 29 minutes, 4 seconds, just 10 minutes, and 1 second behind the stage winner. A huge moral booster for Team SPEED after the disappointment of Friday, as the team looks to prepare for the second half of the rally. 
    
Team SPEED teammate Sheldon Creed would start stage 7 in the 38th position after stopping to assist Robby Gordon in the previous stage, really showing positive driving that he has done throughout the rally, Creed would finish the seventh stage in a time of 3 hours, 43 minutes, and 18 seconds in the 21 position, just 24 minutes and 15 seconds behind the winner. 
    
Spains’s Carlos Sainz picked up his first Stage win of 2016, winning Stage 7 in a time of 3 hours, 19 minute, 3 seconds, followed closely by Sebastien Loeb at 3 hours, 19 minutes, 41 seconds, just 38 seconds behind. Qatar driver Nasser Al-Attiyah completed the stage in 3 hours, 22 minutes, and 25 seconds to finish third. Stephan Peterhansel finished fourth with a time of 3 hours, 22 minutes, 30 seconds, while Mikko Hirvonen of Finland would round out the top five in 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 10 seconds. 
    
After seven stages of the 2016 Dakar Rally Loeb has moved back into the overall lead today over Peterhansel by 2 minutes, 22 seconds, followed by Carlos Sainz in the third position 4 minutes, and 50 seconds back. Al-Attiyah holds the fourth position trailing 17 minutes, 36 seconds, while Hirvonen holds the fifth position 32 minutes, 53 seconds behind. 
    
Sunday the eighth consecutive day of the rally, will give Team SPEED a much-needed break in the historic colonial city of Salta. However this is no vacation, the crew will carry out full service of both HST Gordini’s to insure they are prepared to perfection to continue strong the last six stages. 
    
Follow the quest for an American podium finish in the 2016 Dakar Rally for Team SPEED through live timing and scoring as well as live updates with chat at http://www.planetrobby.com and http://www.StadiumSuperTrucks.com
    
NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will provide daily highlights after each stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally at 5:30 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for exact time and channel for availability. 
    
Team SPEED is supported by the following partners; SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, TRAXXAS, KMC Wheels, Arctic Cat, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, King Shocks, Outlaw LED, Mastercraft Safety, Holley Performance, Embee Performance, MAC Tools, DeWALT, Freightliner Trucks, Replay XD, Valvoline, Impact by Mastercraft Safety, Lincoln Electric, Torchmate by Lincoln Electric, Ron Davis Racing Products, Techni Waterjet, Mechanix Wear, Saftey-Kleen, Weddle Industries, and Loctite. 
    
Rest Day: Salta 
    
The Dakar has a history in Salta, which hosted the bivouac for the rest days in 2013 and 2014. But once again, this break will not really enable many competitors to laze about in the heart of this town marked by a rich architectural heritage from the colonial era. Their agenda will still be busy: carrying out a full service of the vehicles, taking advantage of extra sleep and refocusing on the even tougher objectives of the second week. Even during the break, the race is still on…
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