Arica, Chile (January 9, 2013) – Stage 4 was a tough one for Robby Gordon and his SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI team, but he excels at taking his misfortunes and turning them into positives. Gordon started Stage 5 far down the list, making his objective for the Stage to pass as many cars as he could. Picking cars off one-by-one, Gordon quickly found himself quickly in the top-5 after the first checkpoint and reeled in the next two competitors in line by the last checkpoint, finishing on the podium only 1 minute and 41 seconds being stage winner, Nani Roma.

“Stage 5 was obviously a lot better than Stage 4 as I put ourselves into a horrible position the day before. If we just would have maintained yesterday we would be sitting here fifth overall in the Rally. Instead we’re sitting here in 35th place, 5 hours and 50 minutes behind the leaders. The car showed today that its capable of performing by finishing third. It is just a bummer we started 27th today and passed 13 cars in route. Now we get to start back with the lead pack again like we did on Stage 4. There’s really nothing to gain except to have strong runs, learn as much as we can about the car and at least we will have more experience. This was our year to win the rally, and I truly feel that we gave our opportunity away,” said Robby Gordon, driver of the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER.

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.

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.

The countdown is on to the 2013 Dakar, considered by many to be the craziest, most dangerous off-road rally in the world! Toyo Tires will be covering the 2013 Dakar rally and its sponsored teams in the race that starts tomorrow.

Starting January 5, this 15-day, Pan-American odyssey will cover nearly 5,000 miles in 14 stages. See Gordon’s Hummer traverse some of the world’s highest sand dunes and mountains while racing through Peru, Argentina and Chile – all with one thing on his mind: victory.

CYPRESS, CALIFORNIA – Toyo Tires and Robby Gordon are teaming up once again to take on the legendary Dakar Rally in January.  Gordon will drive his #315 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER with assistance from veteran navigator Kellon Walch.  Running January 5 – 20, the 2013 Dakar rally is nearly 5,000 miles in length and will start in Lima, Peru; and then run south through the South American continent to the finish in Santiago, Chile.

Each year Dakar organizers challenge entrants with unique routes.  Run primarily off the road, the terrain can vary from coastal sand dunes to rock-strewn mountains and dense forests.  Competitors and their equipment can face the challenges of running in the desert heat or the extreme cold while crossing high-elevation passes.  Along the way, vehicles may be forced to travel at a slow crawl or hit speeds soaring well over 100-mph.  Since 2007, Gordon has relied on Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires to help conquer this world famous off-road rally.

Ensenada, Mexico (June 1, 2012) – Robby Gordon, one of the world’s best desert racers, will return to his desert roots for the 44th running of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 this weekend, June 1-3, 2012. Piloting the No. 77 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER H3 prepared by SPEED Factory Off-Road located in Anaheim, CA, Gordon will roll off the line 28th on Saturday morning. While he knows that he has a long road ahead of him to compete for the overall victory, Gordon is certainly up for the challenge.

“Even though we didn’t get a good draw, I am still going to drive the wheels off the No. 77 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER H3 to get it to the front. We are coming to win the race, and I am going to do whatever I can to do so. Since it is a timed event, we don’t have to cross the line first on Saturday, but we have to have the fasted elapsed time. So watch out or move over!  It’s going to be fun. We started in the thirties last year and almost won, so don’t rule me out yet. I want to welcome MAPEI on board for their first Baja 500 experience…it is sure to be a fun ride!”

CYPRESS, CALIFORNIA – Robby Gordon and navigator Johnny Campbell finished the 2012 Dakar on a high note by winning the 29km timed special of Stage 14, the last in this year’s off-road marathon rally.  The overall route travelled 254km from Pisco to Lima, Peru, marking the completion of a 14-day Pan American odyssey which began on the Atlantic coast in Argentina, crossed through the Andes, and then turned north to Peru along the Pacific coast.

Gordon’s #303 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER won the brief 29km (18-mile) final stage with a large 21-second margin over the second place finisher.  He finished fifth overall in the 2012 Dakar, capturing three stage wins and a total of seven podiums along the way.  In addition, Gordon’s HUMMER was the only two-wheel-drive vehicle finishing in the top ten.

Gordon began Stage 14 from the 10th spot due to challenges he faced during Stage 13, which included lost time due to a rollover.  He managed to hold second overall for much of the rally, even while sacrificing a Stage 1 win to assist his teammate, Nasser Al-Attiyah who had a mechanical problem near the end of the stage.  Al-Attiyah ultimately retired during Stage 9.  Prior to his retirement, Al-Attiyah, driver of the Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R equipped #300 Qatar HUMMER, won Stages 2 and 7, and finished third in Stage 3.

In addition to the normal challenges facing competitors in the Dakar, one of the two Team SPEED support trucks was delayed in customs in Argentina prior to the start of the race. It was not released until Stage 6, drivers taking shifts behind the wheel to race across Argentina into Chile to catch up with the day’s bivouac.  Without the presence of that support vehicle during the first portion of Dakar, the team was faced with a shortage of tools, spare parts and fresh sets of tires.  In fact, tires were rotated, rather than replaced at times when other competitors had fresh replacements.

After earning the Stage 12 win, Robby Gordon had a rough Stage 13 (as seen below). Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel still holds the lead.

Mark Coma still leads in the bike category, though a navigation error lost him some of his cushion.

The summary video of Stage 13 of the 2012 Dakar Rally provides a good recap of the most recent stage as the race gets close to conclusion.

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CYPRESS, CALIFORNIA – Robby Gordon has proven once again why he is a true motorsports champion, not just by winning, but dominating Stage 12 of the Dakar™.  After a long delay set him back during Stage 11 due to mechanical problems, the American driver attacked Stage 12 with a vengeance.  He piloted his #303 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER from a 22nd starting position to first overall – beating the second place finisher by 15 minutes, 18 seconds!  To further prove a point, he accomplished that feat by crossing the perilously soft coastal dunes toward Nazca, Peru — streaking past stuck competitors with his two-wheel drive HUMMER equipped with Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires.

The 245km Stage 12 travelled north along the Peruvian coast from Arequipa to Nazca.  This marks Gordon’s second stage win in the 2012 Dakar, having also won Stage 9.  Gordon now has six podium finishes in the 2012 version of this Pan American marathon rally.  It also shows his determination to finish on the podium in Lima, Peru.

Gordon’s teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah was forced to retire during Stage 9 due to mechanical problems.  Prior to his retirement, Al-Attiyah and his Toyo Tires equipped #300 Qatar HUMMER won Stages 2 and 7, and finished third in Stage 3.  So far in the 2012 Dakar, Toyo Tires has logged four stage wins and captured a total of nine podium finishes.

CYPRESS, CALIFORNIA – Excitement is building in anticipation of crowning the overall winner for the 2012 Dakar™ this coming Monday. Robby Gordon is focused on capturing that glory, winning today’s Stage 9 by 1-minute 38-seconds over race-leader, Stephane Peterhansel. Gordon’s charge has reduced Peterhansel’s lead to less than six minutes with four days left of competition.

Today’s 556km stage ran from the coastal cities of Antofagasta to Iquique, northward along the Pacific Ocean coast of Chile. Competitors were faced with a variety of terrain including canyons, hills and perilous silt-beds known as “fesh fesh.”  Throughout the rally, Gordon has relied on Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires to help keep his two-wheel drive #303 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER on a searing pace.  As of today’s Stage 9 of the 2012 Dakar, Toyo Tires® has recorded eight podium finishes with Team SPEED, three of those being stage wins.

Gordon’s teammate, Nasser Al-Attiyah was chasing Gordon in second place after Checkpoint 2 in today’s stage.  Misfortune then struck the hard-charging Al-Attiyah’s #300 Qatar HUMMER as he was sidelined with a mechanical problem.  Al-Attiyah won Stages 2 and 7, while also finishing third in Stage 3 in this year’s race.