Sunday
Jan122014

2014 Dakar Rally: Stage 7 Salta to Salta

Salta, Argentina (January 12, 2014) – Following a much needed rest day for teams, Sunday's Stage 7 of the 35th Dakar Rally consisted of a mega loop with a 500-kilometer Special leading from Salta back to Salta. Drivers faced a course similar to what would be seen during a WRC race with stony terrain and multiple ultra-fast sections, an advantage that the 4WD race cars would have over the two-wheel-drive SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HST Gordini.

As with much of the 2014 Rally, Stage 7 was a tough one for Robby Gordon and his SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires team. Gordon started the stage far down the list, making his objective to stayi out of trouble and bring the HST Gordini to the finish line in one piece. Beginning 23rd off the line the SPEED Energy team knew the tight and narrow WRC-type track would be a challenge to pass other competitors. 

By kilometer 230 Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch had worked past 12 cars just 11 minutes and 10 seconds behind the leader. Unfortunately, as Gordon approached kilometer 281 things would suddenly go wrong for the American team as they came to a halt on the side of the racecourse with broken wheel studs. The HST Gordini would ultimately limp its way to the finish losing valuable time to the leaders. Gordon would eventually finish the stage 1 hour and 59 minutes behind stage winner Spaniard Carlos Sainz. 

As the Rally comes down to the last six days, more and more competitors are dropping out. Gordon and Team SPEED look to make a jump in the overall standings every day hoping to reach the top 10. Tomorrow's Stage 8 will enter Chile for the first time with a 510-kilometer liaison leading into a 302-kilometer Special as the competitors cross the Andes Cordillera. Being that it is so far into the Rally, Team SPEED will be testing various things over the final Stages trying to improve the HST Gordini as much as possible under race conditions. 

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 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

Friday
Jan102014

2014 Dakar Rally: Stage 6 Tucuman to Salta

Salta, Argentina (January 10, 2014) – Coming off Thursday’s Stage 5 – one that Robby Gordon described as the most difficult he had faced in nine previous years of the Dakar Rally, Stage 6 did not get any easier for Gordon and his SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires team. 

After finishing in a podium position the first time in 2014 after Stage 5, Team SPEED would receive news of a one-hour penalty that was applied following Stage 5 for missing a waypoint, thus forcing Gordon to forgo the third starting position for Friday’s Stage 6.  

Gordon started as the 25th car off the line, making his objective for the Stage to pass as many cars as he could without jeopardizing the HST Gordini before Saturday’s scheduled rest day. 

Picking cars off one-by-one, Gordon quickly found himself in the top-15 after the first checkpoints, but shortly he put the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HST Gordini into conservation mode for the rest of the Stage, as the heat of the South American desert caused engine temperatures to rise. 

Gordon and Co-Driver Kellon Walch would cross the finish at kilometer 424 as the 21st car, 24 minutes 26 seconds behind stage winner Stephen Peterhansel of France. 

Tomorrow is Rest Day where competitors are given a day to relax and prepare their cars for the final seven days of this year’s Dakar Rally. The SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires Team will be very busy prepping and making changes to secure their chances at a Stage victories. 

Be sure to watch the nightly highlight show of the 2014 Dakar Rally 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 throughout the legendary race, 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 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 Racing Gears, Kartek Off-Road, Team Gordon Race Wheels, Pro Am Racing Products, Anaheim Hills Auto Body. 

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