Sunday
Jan052014

2014 Dakar Rally: Stage 1 Rosario to San Luis

San Luis, Argentina (January 5, 2014) – Sunday marked the start of the 2014 Dakar Rally and the debut of the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HST Gordini. The stage went from Rosario to San Luis and was comprised of a 629-kilometer liaison leading to a very short 180-kilometer Special through the region of Cordoba. Even though the stage was short, each competitor needed to pace themselves through the narrow tracks and stony sections remembering this is the start to the toughest off-road race in the world.

Despite being very prepared for this year's Rally, the race did not begin as well as the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires team had hoped. Robby Gordon for the second straight year would be taken by surprise on the opening stage as the SPEED Energy team encountered multiple issues.

Gordon talked about his misfortune shortly after returning the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HST Gordini into the bivouac. "I don't know what happened. Everything went smoothly when we took things easy on the link section, but from the moment we started the special, we had vapor lock problems and we had to stop. Then, all the other fluids started to overheat, so we had to stop at least five or six times... At the end, we had stopped for the umpteenth time when competitor No. 390 offered to tow us to the end of the special. Honestly, it's strange; I don't know why this happened. We'll have a look at it in the bivouac, although it's disappointing to lose two or three hours on the very first day of racing."

Gordon trails leader Carlos Sousa of Portugal by 2 hours and 34 minutes overall, which is not the way Gordon and the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires team wanted to start the Rally. The SPEED Team and Gordon know that they cannot make any more mistakes if they want any chance of a top-10 finish when the Dakar Rally ends in Valparaiso, Chile. 

Gordon will have an opportunity to chip away at that deficit in Monday’s second stage which at 365 kilometers is much longer than the opening 180-kilometer stage. Monday’s special will take competitors into a high-speed test through Argentina’s grey sand dunes. The HST Gordini was designed with high speeds in mind and Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch will need to quickly make it through the technical aspects of Nihuil’s dunes to get back into the race.

Be sure to watch the first highlight show of the 2014 Dakar Rally beginning on Monday, January 6th on NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. EST/ 2 p.m. PST. Check your local listings for exact channel and time.

To follow Gordon and the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires team as they try to rise above the competition at the legendary Dakar Rally, log onto www.speedenergy.com and www.toyotires.com/dakar/2014 for race team updates.

Fans can also participate in the Dakar Rally experience by connecting on www.planetrobby.com and follow along with the team on Facebook and Twitter at: www.facebook.com/thespeedenergydrink, and www.facebook.com/toyotires, http://twitter.com/SPEED_ENERGY, http://twitter.com/ToyoTires.

Monday
Dec302013

Robby Gordon Piloting Technologically Improved SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HST Gordini in 2014 Dakar Rally

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (December 30, 2013) – Robby Gordon will begin his tenth Dakar Rally in Rosario, Argentina Jan. 5 as one of 149 international competitors as he again competes to become the first American in history to win the most extreme and demanding motorsports event in the world. 

Widely regarded as one of the world’s best off-road racers, Gordon’s previous attempts at overall Dakar Rally victory have resulted in an amazing nine stage victories, however, the overall title has eluded him. In 2005, his initial Dakar Rally effort, he become the first American to win a stage in the race which began in 1979.

Entering its 35th edition, Frenchmen have dominated the Rally, taking 19 overall victories. Finland has produced five race winners, Japan three, Germany two and one each from South Africa, Belgium, Qatar, Spain and Sweden.

I feel more prepared than in any of our previous trips to the Dakar Rally,” Gordon said. “Since our first race in 2005, where we accomplished our goal of becoming the first American to win a stage, our focus has been on winning the overall title. I believe with the experience we have, and the new car we have built, this year could be our time.

Known for building the fastest and most innovative off-road vehicles in the world, in 2014 Gordon is introducing a brand-new race car for his Dakar effort, the lightest and most technologically advanced machine he has ever built. The car was built in North Carolina and draws off of designs and experience that have propelled him to three Baja 1000 victories, four Baja 500 victories and seven Score-International Off-Road Championships in addition to his Dakar stage victories. The SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires sponsored HST Gordini is an FIA-chassis truck built on top of 37-inch Toyo Tires and around a V-8 engine. Finding speed should not be a challenge for Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch.

Since our first trip to Dakar with our own car in 2006 (Gordon drove for Volkswagen in 2005), Toyo Tires has been there with me. In last year’s Rally we had no tire failures in the entire race – truly amazing. With that same kind of performance and the fact that we have had the fastest car for several years, we will just need to eliminate mistakes to try to capture the overall title in the world’s toughest race.

Gordon’s top overall finish in the Dakar Rally came in 2009 when he registered a third-place finish. His 2013 race proved to be particularly frustrating for the former IndyCar and NASCAR star, when he overcame a transmission issue in the first stage of the Rally only to crash in stage four after slowly rolling over a large sand dune and damaging the car’s radiators which were mounted on the front of the vehicle. Despite winning two of the Rally’s final 10 stages and finishing top 5 in 10 of 14 stages, Gordon could not overcome the significant deficit he built for himself following his mechanical issues and finished 14th in the field of 153 cars.

Racing is full of ‘what-ifs,’” Gordon said. “Like anything else in life you learn from your mistakes and move on to the next challenge. We learned a lot about ourselves over the last 10 stages last year and it gives our team tremendous confidence returning to Argentina.

The 2014 Dakar Rally will wind its way through three countries. Starting in Argentina the race will take a short route through Bolivia before finishing on Jan. 18 in Valparaiso, Chile.

The Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), which sanctions the Dakar Rally as well other marquee events including the Tour De France, reports that more than one billion fans in 190 countries tuned into the 2013 edition of the race on television, making it the most watched motorsports event in the world – surpassing Formula 1, the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 combined.

To follow Gordon and the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires team as they try to rise above the competition at the legendary Dakar Rally, log onto www.speedenergy.com and www.toyotires.com for race team updates.

Fans can also participate in the Dakar Rally experience by connecting on www.planetrobby.com and follow along with the team on Facebook and Twitter at: www.facebook.com/thespeedenergydrink, and www.facebook.com/toyotires, http://twitter.com/SPEED_ENERGY, http://twitter.com/ToyoTires.

Daily highlights from each stage can be viewed on the NBC Sports Network (DIRECTV Channel 220 / Dish Network Channel 159 / AT&T U-Verse Channel 1640 / Verizon FiOS Channel 590) January 5th-18th. Please check your local listings for times & schedules for NBC Sports Network.


 

Friday
Dec202013

Robby Gordon & SPEED Energy Visit Levine Children's Hospital of Charlotte 

Charlotte, N.C. (December 20, 2013) – The holiday season is a time of giving, and on Friday, December 20, in the midst of vigorous preparations for the upcoming 2014 Dakar Rally, Robby Gordon and the SPEED Energy team were able to give both time and gifts to the children who are in a time of need at Levine Children’s Hospital of Charlotte.

This is the most wonderful time of the year for many, Said Gordon because it is a time when you are expected to give. The hospital visit is one of those events where I am able to remove myself from racing for a few hours and get back to reality of everyday life by putting smiles on kid’s faces that need it the most.

Gordon and his SPEED Energy team took photos, signed autographs, and presented each child a collectable Robby Gordon diecast racecar.

We all have the opportunity to bring happiness to a young person's life, said Gordon. Some of these children wont get a chance to spend Christmas at home with their families, but that should not stop them from experiencing the holiday joy.

Giving back to the community is not something new to Gordon and the SPEED Energy team. In 2012 after Super Storm Sandy slammed the Eastern United States knocking out power and destroying homes. The SPEED Energy team helped gather an exceptional amount of clothes, food and supplies and delivered them to a Church in New Jersey to help towards cleaning and rebuilding efforts.

Follow along as Robby Gordon and the SPEED Energy Team tackle the 14-Day  Dakar Rally starting January 5 in Rosario, Argentina by visiting  www.speedenergy.com and www.planetrobby.com or connecting  with SPEED Energy on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thespeedenergydrink and by following on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SPEED_ENERGY.

About SPEED Energy – SPEED Energy is available in four flavors: Unleaded, Fuel, Ethanol and Octane, which provides the human machine with the fuel it needs to keep up with the SPEED of life. Each drink contains a potent energy blend of B-vitamins, caffeine, taurine and ginseng. SPEED is packaged in 16 ounce cans that have a stylish black top and sexy body and are available in singles, four-packs, and cases.  SPEED Energy is available in the United States in major retailers, convenience stores, grocery stores, bars and nightclubs.