Arequipa, Peru – After finishing yesterday’s stage in second, Gordon and the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI team were optimistic about today’s stage and prepared to take advantage of a good starting position. Unfortunately, it was a day of dismay for the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER as it rolled into the bivouac bruised and beaten after stage 4.
The race drastically would change for Gordon and Team SPEED near KM35 when the HUMMER crashed into a dune, ultimately landing on its roof. With a broken windshield, front clip and two busted radiators, it took Gordon and Walch valuable hours to get the HUMMER back on four wheels and headed to the finish.
When learning about the crash, the team coordinated with the assistance T4 BOUCOU team to get Gordon the parts he needed. Unfortunately, the T4 would not reach Gordon for a few more hours following the crash, resulting in taking Gordon out for the overall win. Once the BOUCOU assistance team was able to reach the HUMMER, Gordon and Walch went to work to get the HUMMER into a good enough state to finish the stage.
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Gordon was disappointed in his luck afterwards, “I’m fine…. I mean it was nothing. Not a big crash at all. We crashed at KM35 into a 288KM Special. We went over a dune that was about 8-feet high, and on the other side it went straight down, damaging the radiators and laying the HUMMER on its back. The HUMMER is fine; the suspension did not take a hit. I did not want to take a chance hurting the motor any, so we had to wait for two different assistance trucks which took hours. It is unfortunate and disappointing to not be racing for the overall now, but the good thing is we are still here and willing to fight for stage wins.”
The team will now work late into the night; diagnosing and working on the bodywork of the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER preparing it for tomorrow’s stage heading into Chile.