Saturday
Jan102015

Robby Gordon Records Third Consecutive Top 10 At Dakar Rally

UYUNI, Bolivia (Jan. 10, 2015) – Despite a navigational error at the midpoint of Saturday’s seventh stage of the Dakar Rally, which resulted in a loss of more than nine minutes to eventual stage winner Orlando Terranova, Robby Gordon came home ninth Saturday securing his third consecutive top-10 stage finish of the 37th Dakar Rally.

Like all competitors, Gordon and navigator Johnny Campbell left the starting line in Chile with mountains reaching 12,860 feet above sea level and more than 321 kilometers (199 miles) of twisting, turning trails separating them from the finish. Only a road book, handed to teams just hours before the start of each stage, can help competitors find their way to the finish, making navigation as important as mechanical reliability in the Rally.

The Traxxas/Toyo Tires team’s wrong turn was its only setback on an otherwise flawless run. On a day where race organizers predicted many tire failures due to the rocky and rough terrain, Gordon’s Toyo Tires again held up without failure. Gordon hasn’t had a Toyo Tires issue in the Dakar Rally since 2012.

Argentina native Terranova recorded a time of 3 hours, 31 minutes and 18 seconds, a dominating 2 minutes and 20 seconds over second-place finisher Yazeed Alrajhi of Saudi Arabia. Terranova’s win Saturday marked his third 2015 stage victory. The Netherlands Bernhard Ten Brinke finished third.

Gordon’s Stage 7 time of 3 hours, 42 minutes and 6 seconds helped him advance further in the overall standings of the grueling 9,111-kilometer race (5,661 miles), improving his position to 23rd overall. He is now scored 5 hours, 48 minutes and 31 seconds behind overall leader Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar. All-Attiyah’s lead shrank to only 8 minutes and 14 seconds over Giniel De Villiers of South Africa. 

The 13-stage Rally will continue for competitors on Sunday with a return trip from Uyuni, Bolivia, to Iquique, Chile. The route will be very different, however, starting with extremely fast salt flats followed by technical mountainous roads. The course will end with 40 kilometers (25 miles) of soft dunes for the descent from the mountains back into Iquique. The timed section of the stage will be 781 kilometers (485 miles), the longest timed stretch of the Rally. 

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 Iquique, Chile

The return to Iquique will again provide an unmistakable landscape, created from the contrasts of desert and sea. Regional produce grown along the coast and in the valleys and in the mountains include quinoa, mangoes, Camiña garlic and Pica lemons.

Iquique’s history goes back to pre-colonial times, when its inhabitants worked in agriculture and fishing. The free trade zone, in operation since 1975, transformed the city into a commercial trade center for Mercosur and Asian Pacific countries. 

Friday
Jan092015

Robby Gordon Posts Third Top-Five Finish in Dakar Rally at Stage 6

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.

Thursday
Jan082015

Robby Gordon Regains Momentum in Dakar Rally with Third-Place Finish in Stage 5

ANTOFAGASTA, Chile (Jan. 8, 2015) – After several frustrating days where mechanical issues derailed Robby Gordon’s bid for an overall Dakar Rally win, the American driver ran a great fifth stage in his Traxxas/Toyo Tires Gordini to finish third, vastly improving his starting position for Friday’s sixth stage.

Gordon and navigator Johnny Campbell led through the early part of Thursday’s stage, but between the second and third timed waypoints they lost 11 minutes and 41 seconds to the eventual stage winner and fell back to the 10th position in the process. From that point forward, aggressive driving and perfect navigation allowed Gordon and Campbell to gain 10 minutes and 6 seconds on the leader before the finish.

Russian Vladimir Vasilyev was scored the provisional stage winner with a time of 4 hours, 19 minutes and 18 seconds, and Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Alrajhi followed 20 seconds behind. Gordon’s third-place run was completed in 4 hours, 20 minutes and 43 seconds, and elevates him to 32nd in the overall standings. He trails Nasser Al-Attiyah of Saudi Arabia by 5 hours, 45 minutes and 46 seconds.

Gordon’s spot on the podium makes his HST Gordini only the third different constructor to finish among the top-three positions thus far, with Mini and Toyota representing the other manufacturers. Gordon’s car is the only entry among the leaders that is not affiliated with a major automotive manufacturer and was fully developed by Gordon’s company.

“With stage wins in previous Rally events and good runs like today, we prove that we can run with anyone,” Gordon said. “None of our issues this week were really avoidable and they were freak incidents. We’re hopeful that these weird issues are behind us and our plan is to win multiple stages before the end of this year’s Dakar to make our presence known.”

Friday’s sixth stage will consist of 647 kilometers (402 miles) of which 255 kilometers (158 miles) will be the timed section for the cars. Its relatively short distance will climb up the Pacific coast towards Iquique. For the first time, the halfway point in the race will be marked on a podium in the center of Iquique. The experience between drivers and their fans should be emotional, as a powerful earthquake struck the region and triggered a tsunami in April last year.

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 Iquique, Chile 

An unmistakable landscape, created from the contrasts of desert and sea, is what awaits participants of the 2015 Dakar Rally in Iquique. Regional produce grown along the coast and in the valleys and in the mountains include quinoa, mangoes, Camiña garlic and Pica lemons.

Its history goes back to pre-colonial times, when its inhabitants worked in agriculture and fishing. The free trade zone, in operation since 1975, transformed the city into a commercial trade center for Mercosur and Asian Pacific countries.