Tucuman, Argentina – 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.
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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.