Ensenada, B.C., Mexico (November 17, 2013) – In a Baja 1000 first, Robby Gordon qualified the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI trophy truck in the 4th starting position for the 46th running of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, November 15-16. With the best starting position in years, the team immediately knew that opportunity to capture the fifth Baja 1000 victory was within reach.
The 883-mile circuit would travel on both sides of the Baja California peninsula from Ensenada east to San Felipe, south to Punta Blanco and west along the Pacific coast back to Ensenada. This year’s event is the longest course in race history for a loop race – starting and finishing in the same location – and also considered one of its most challenging.
As the experienced Gordon set off from the start in Ensenada setting his sights on race marker 385, the place where co-driver Billy Gasper would be taking over driving duties. Gordon wasted no time tracking down the trucks in front of him, quickly moving into front back of the trophy truck class by race marker 100.
As Gordon entered the San Felipe washes, the course would bring some of the roughest terrain in the race, and it proved to be real trouble as the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI trophy truck developed a problem and completely lost the handle. After closely analyzing the problem, a spindle was found to be broken and was replaced by the Robby Gordon Offroad support team. After being within reach of the leaders before the stop, Gordon resumed moving 1 hr and 43 minutes behind in 21st place. The next 300 miles saw Lopez racing hard trying to slim the margin behind the leader, getting it to just 1 hour behind.
At race marker 378, the location where co-driver Billy Gasper was scheduled to get behind the wheel, however, Gordon made a decision to remain in the seat fully knowing the broken spindle had set the No. 77 truck back a large amount of time. Gordon put the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI trophy truck into overdrive for the remaining 505 miles, racing through the dark and cold desert considerably cutting down the time of the leaders proving the truck and the driver still had their sights on the finish line.
As Gordon raced past race marker 498, he continued to move forward racing past Cameron Steele, Sergio Salgado, and Kory Scheeler between pit stops. While many other competitors suffered from mechanical failure in the remaining 300 miles, Gordon with determination and drive eased his way towards the finish line in Ensenada finishing in 7th position in the SCORE Trophy Truck Division, 1 hour and 57 minutes behind winner B.J. Baldwin, of Las Vegas, Nevada.
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