IQUIQUE, Chile (Jan. 9, 2015) – Robby Gordon continued his good form at the 37th Dakar Rally Friday, bringing his Traxxas/Toyo Tires Gordini home in fourth place in the 277-kilometer stage.
Like Thursday’s Stage 5 race, Gordon again had a strong early run, leading through the mid-point of the stage. While he maintained the eventual winner’s pace through most of the second half of the race, it was the final timed section on the course – in deep sand dunes – where Gordon and navigator Johnny Campbell gave up nearly two minutes to the top-three finishers.
Gordon’s fourth-place finish marked his third top five in six stages of the Rally. He finished the first stage in second position and yesterday’s fifth stage in third.
Overall Rally leader Nasser Al-Attiyah of Saudi Arabia won his third stage of the 2015 Dakar Rally and increased his overall lead to 11 minutes, 12 seconds over South African Giniel De Villiers. Gordon moved to 25th overall and sits 5 hours, 47 minutes and 31 seconds behind Al-Attiyah.
Al-Attiyah’s stage time of 2 hours, 37 minutes and 18 seconds was 37 seconds better than De Villiers in second, 1 minute, 24 seconds better than Nani Roma in third and 1 minute, 45 seconds ahead of Gordon. Argentine Orlando Terranova was scored fifth, 5 minutes, 48 seconds behind the winner.
Before Friday’s stage, the usual heavy attrition rate had already sidelined 55 of the 137 cars that started the Rally. Making it to Monday’s rest day for the cars will be a challenge as the teams enter a new country with rough terrain and extreme altitude.
Saturday’s Stage 7 is scheduled for a total of 717 kilometers (446 miles), of which 321 kilometers (199 miles) will be the timed section for the cars. Gordon will start in his finishing position of fourth from Friday, which will again be a favorable spot among the elite cars remaining in the Rally. The teams will venture into Bolivia for the first time and right from the start, the cars will gradually climb to more than 3,500 meters (nearly 11,500 feet) where the timed stage will begin.
Follow the Dakar Rally through live timing and scoring as well as live updates at www.planetrobby.com. NBCSN is providing daily highlights from 4:30 to 5 p.m. ET.
The HST Gordini is supported by SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, Traxxas, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, 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.
About Uyuni, Bolivia
The tiny town of Uyuni, Bolivia, (population 10,460) features an extensive street-market and lies at the edge of a large plain at an elevation of 3,700 meters (12,139 feet) above sea level. Even larger mountains sit to the east of the city. Given water is scarce, there is little agriculture in Uyuni and the town’s primary industry comes from tourism as the gateway to the world's largest salt flats. Each year Uyuni welcomes approximately 60,000 visitors.