Charlotte, NC –Robby Gordon’s Team SPEED and Toyo Tires® are returning to compete in the 2012 Dakar Rally in force.  This year, two of Robby Gordon’s specially built HUMMER H3 racers will compete for the overall win.  Gordon will drive his bright orange #303 SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires entry; while defending 2011 Dakar winner, Nasser Al-Attiyah, joins the team to pilot the #300 Qatar HUMMER H3 racer.  The race vehicles rely on Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires to deliver off-road performance and durability.

Team SPEED and Toyo Tires are no strangers to Dakar.  Gordon and Toyo Tires first competed in the Dakar in 2006.  Together they showed their capabilities with a Stage 6 win and an Open Class victory in the 2007 Dakar, and then scored their highest finish, a third overall, in the 2009 Dakar.  That year, the HUMMER was the only two-wheel-drive vehicle to finish in the top ten, proving the capabilities of the team and the Open Country M/T-R tires.

“Toyo Tires and I have worked hard over the years to develop a tire combination that is right for the HUMMER,” said Gordon.  “Their team has put a lot of effort into making a Toyo tire that is tough, durable and ready for the Dakar Rally.  It has good grip and can sustain the varying terrain, from sand to slick gravel roads to hard rocky areas.  I look forward to getting out there and racing on it.”

For the 2012 Dakar, Robby Gordon will be joined in the cockpit by multiple Baja 1000 winner and off-road legend, Johnny Campbell.  Campbell will serve as navigator in the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HUMMER, guiding the vehicle through challenging terrain on this 14-day, and nearly 6,000-mile Pan-American odyssey.  The 2012 Dakar starts on New Year’s Day on the East coast of Argentina in Mar Del Plata.  It will cross over the Andes of Chile and then finish on South America’s West Coast in Lima, Peru.

“Dakar is the most challenging off-road endurance race on the planet and is a true test of both man and equipment,” said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “We are proud to have Toyo Tires represented by these off-road champions. The Open Country M/T-R is the perfect tire to lead them to their goal of winning the 2012 Dakar.”

To follow the team’s journey to compete in the upcoming Dakar, and for updated race team coverage, log onto www.speedenergy.com and www.toyotires.com. Fans can also participate in the Dakar experience by connecting with the community at www.facebook.com/thespeedenergydrink, www.facebook.com/toyotires, www.twitter.com/speed_energy and www.twitter.com/toyotires.

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