Pisco, Peru – The site of Stage 2 begins in the spot that Stage 1 ended, the town of Pisco. The first competitor in the Car category left the bivouac at 7:51AM. With Robby Gordon starting in 35th, he would leave on an 85KM liaison at 8:40AM and drive to the start of the 242KM Special.
With nothing shorter than a stage victory on his mind, Gordon found himself trying to navigate around slower competitors, including fellow racers in the Truck class. Gordon was held up a few times trying to work his way around the dust. By the time he got the 100KM checkpoint, he was only 3 minutes and 33 seconds behind the leader. Misfortune would strike again not only for the SPEED Energy /Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER but others as well. Like fellow racers, Robby Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch had a difficult time finding a certain way point. Missing such point would result in hefty time penalties, so the duo lost nearly 17 minutes trying to find the waypoint.
“It was really tricky to find the waypoint today. There was a bunch of cars even some bikes still circling around the dunes trying to find it too. It was a bit frustrating just because you know you’re losing time and there’s nothing you can do at that point. There were cars going in every direction which became confusing. Once we did find it we were on our way and pushed pretty hard. It is frustrating to not find our way and difficult to pass in all the dust. The guys out front had a good advantage. Fortunately, we will get to start near the top ten which will help as we face some of the toughest dunes tomorrow. Robby did a great job trying to make up the lost ground today,” commented navigator Kellon Walch after finishing 13th in Stage 2.
Being down 49 minutes will make tomorrow’s Stage 3 from Pisco to Nazca an even tougher task as it will require a large amount of skill and patience from the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI team as they navigate some of the toughest dunes of the rally. If Gordon and Walch can make it over the dunes without getting stuck, the team will be able to proudly breathe a large sigh of relief.
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.