Copiapo, Chile (January 17, 2013) – Today's stage went extremely well for the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER until the last checkpoint where Robby Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch would find themselves stuck, losing precious minutes from their lead.
Gordon led the charge to start Stage 12 heading back into the country of Chile. The Rally started at 6 AM local time to cross over the Andes making it an exceptionally long liaison to the start of the 319KM Special. The competitors would race into the dunes of the Atacama desert, a place that Gordon has won multiple stages in the past.
"What can I say it was another good special for us. We had them beat easily by 10 minutes coming into the final checkpoint. Unfortunately, the checkpoint was on top of a dune. When they stamped our card, I waited too long and got stuck. We aired down and managed to get out but lost 8 minutes along with the stage win because of it. It's just how our Rally has gone; we left a lot on the table this year," commented Gordon after finishing second in the stage, 4 minutes behind the stage winner.
This makes Gordon's 8th podium so far with only two stages remaining. Tomorrow's Stage 13 heads to La Serena with a 441KM Special, certainly a long one for the books.
To follow Gordon and the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires team throughout 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 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.