Thursday
Jan092014

2014 Dakar Rally: Stage 5 Chilecito to Tucuman

Tucuman, Argentina (January 9, 2014) – The never-give-up attitude of American’s Robby Gordon and Co-Driver Kellon Walch, along with the entire SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires team, was rewarded today with a near flawless Stage. It resulted in the first podium finish of the 2014 Dakar Rally and a hard-fought third- place finish, 20 minutes and 12 seconds behind Stage-winner Nani Roma of Spain.

The Rally continued in Argentina Thursday, taking competitors from Chilecito to Tucumán. The originally scheduled 527-kilometer Special was shortened to 428 kilometers due to safety concerns. Gordon would use the shorted Stage to his advantage remaining in the third position through the finish at kilometer 428 giving the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires team something to be proud of entering Stage 6. 

The HST Gordini and Gordon started one of the most difficult Stages in the Rally from the 14th position, 42 minutes and 16 seconds behind the leader and wasted no time moving past car after car. At kilometer 48 Gordon had already gained seven positions just 2 minutes and 16 seconds behind the leader. 

Being down nearly 4 hours will make Friday’s Stage 6 quest from Tucuman to Salta even more important for Gordon and the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires team have a great finish leading into the rest day Saturday. The course will head north from Tucuman following part of the renowned Ruta 40 into some of the most beautiful landscapes Argentina has to offer leading to the finish in Salta where competitors where will be able to enjoy a much-deserved rest day. 

Be sure to watch the nightly highlight show of the 2014 Dakar Rally January 6th through January 18th on NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. EST/ 2 p.m. PST. Check 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 for race team updates. 

Fans can also participate in the Dakar Rally experience by connecting on http://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.

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 Racing, Lincoln Welders, 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. 

Photos by Weyens Dakarworld

Wednesday
Jan082014

2014 Dakar Rally: Stage 4 San Juan to Chilecito

Chilecito, Argentina (January 8, 2014) – After one of the longest stages of the 2014 Dakar Rally, SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires driver Robby Gordon finished the fourth Stage with a solid fourteenth-place for the HST Gordini. 

Competitors started the Stage on a 211-kilometer liaison, which led to a grueling 657-kilometer Special through the mountains and countryside of Argentina. To the benefit of competitors a neutral zone was designated in the middle portion of the Stage for cars to be serviced before finishing the final kilometers. Sitting in a comfortable sixth place just 9 minutes and 32 seconds back entering the neutral zone, Gordon and co-driver Kellon Walch knew they would need to finish the special without any problems to have a shot at capturing the team’s first top-five of 2014. 

After the neutral zone, the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HST Gordini went back on the move and was able advance one position into fifth, and remain consistent until the final few kilometers when three competitors were able to pass Gordon. Overall standings will not be posted until more cars cross the finish line. With many teams having issues the last two stages, the team hopes to make a jump in the overall standings. Still many hours behind leader Carlos Sainz, but anything can happen in the Dakar Rally, the toughest off-road race in the world. 

Thursday we be another shot for Gordon to get his first stage win of 2014 as he will start mid pack and tackle another long stage of the Rally with a 384-kilometer liaison leading to a 527-kilometer Special. The Stage will primarily feature a plethora of sand, and the Gordini will experience the hottest temperatures of the race and all teams will face a true test of not allowing engines to overheat. Gordon and Walch will need to conserve equipment through this long Special, but yet be aggressive trying to cut into the 4 hour and 16 minute lead of Spaniard Carlos Sainz. 

Be sure to watch the nightly highlight show of the 2014 Dakar Rally January 6th through January 18th on NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. EST/ 2 p.m. PST. Check 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.

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 Racing, Lincoln Welders, 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. 

Photos by Weyens Dakarworld

Tuesday
Jan072014

2014 Dakar Rally: Stage 3 San Luis to San Juan

San Juan, Argentina (January 7, 2014) – American’s Robby Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch rebounded following two frustrating stages at the 35 Dakar Rally to finish 6th in the third stage of the famed race. The team’s SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HST Gordini finally performed as expected and allowed the duo to finish just seven minutes and two seconds behind stage winner Nani Roma of Spain.

Despite beginning the stage as the 28 of 121 cars, thus having to drive through fellow competitor’s dust and significant traffic, Gordon passed more than 20 cars during his more than three-hour and five-minute race. In doing so he shaved more than 21 minutes off of Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel’s overall leading time.

The day’s route covered 301 kilometers through the Pre-Andes Mountains. High altitudes in the two previous stages may have been a contributing factor in the team’s vapor lock issues with the HST Gordini’s fuel supply, therefore, Tuesday’s successful run at the Rally’s highest altitudes yet is certainly good news for the leading American team.

Wednesday’s 657-kilometer (408 miles) monster fourth stage is the longest scheduled for 2014 and will run from San Juan to Chilecito, Argentina. The long distance will not only test the drivers and navigators, but also each car’s fuel capacity, as refueling during the stage is not an option. While the stage will take drivers through rivers and steep descends into canyons, it is expected to be fast and wide open, giving drivers the ability to make up time on the field if mechanical and navigational problems can be avoided.

The 15-stage Dakar Rally will conclude January 18.

Be sure to watch the nightly highlight show of the 2014 Dakar Rally January 6th through January 18th on NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. EST/ 2 p.m. PST. Check 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 for race team updates.

Fans can also participate in the Dakar Rally experience by connecting on http://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.

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 Racing, Lincoln Welders, 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.

Photos by Weyens Dakarworld