Despite earlier issues in the Rally with fuel vapor locking on the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HST Gordini, the issue that put Gordon and his team out of the 35th Dakar Rally was a compromised air filtration system.
Robby Gordon and the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires Gordini began Thursday’s 11th stage of the 2014 Dakar Rally with the same tenacity and determination that they start any race. The day’s goal was to capture the team’s first stage victory of Gordon’s 10th attempt at Dakar glory.
Just 18 kilometers into the stage, however, Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch noticed a severe fuel contamination issue and returned to Antofagasta, Chile where the stage began. Once there, the team went to work for more than 10 hours to diagnose and repair the damage the fuel created.
Salta, Argentina (January 10, 2014) – Coming off Thursday’s Stage 5 – one that Robby Gordon described as the most difficult he had faced in nine previous years of the Dakar Rally, Stage 6 did not get any easier for Gordon and his SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires team.
After finishing in a podium position the first time in 2014 after Stage 5, Team SPEED would receive news of a one-hour penalty that was applied following Stage 5 for missing a waypoint, thus forcing Gordon to forgo the third starting position for Friday’s Stage 6.
Chilecito, Argentina (January 8, 2014) – After one of the longest stages of the 2014 Dakar Rally, SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires driver Robby Gordon finished the fourth Stage with a solid fourteenth-place for the HST Gordini.
Competitors started the Stage on a 211-kilometer liaison, which led to a grueling 657-kilometer Special through the mountains and countryside of Argentina. To the benefit of competitors a neutral zone was designated in the middle portion of the Stage for cars to be serviced before finishing the final kilometers. Sitting in a comfortable sixth place just 9 minutes and 32 seconds back entering the neutral zone, Gordon and co-driver Kellon Walch knew they would need to finish the special without any problems to have a shot at capturing the team’s first top-five of 2014.
San Rafael, Argentina – After a miserable opening day to the 35th Dakar Rally, Robby Gordon and the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires team were optimistic about the second of 15 stages in the famed race and were prepared to take advantage of their 17th starting position. Unfortunately, it was another day of dismay for Gordon and his HST Gordini as it rolled back into the bivouac with a tow from a fellow competitor.
San Luis, Argentina – Sunday marked the start of the 2014 Dakar Rally and the debut of the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HST Gordini. The stage went from Rosario to San Luis and was comprised of a 629-kilometer liaison leading to a very short 180-kilometer Special through the region of Cordoba. Even though the stage was short, each competitor needed to pace themselves through the narrow tracks and stony sections remembering this is the start to the toughest off-road race in the world.
Despite being very prepared for this year’s Rally, the race did not begin as well as the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires team had hoped. Robby Gordon for the second straight year would be taken by surprise on the opening stage as the SPEED Energy team encountered multiple issues.
Gordon talked about his misfortune shortly after returning the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HST Gordini into the bivouac. “I don’t know what happened. Everything went smoothly when we took things easy on the link section, but from the moment we started the special, we had vapor lock problems and we had to stop. Then, all the other fluids started to overheat, so we had to stop at least five or six times… At the end, we had stopped for the umpteenth time when competitor No. 390 offered to tow us to the end of the special. Honestly, it’s strange; I don’t know why this happened. We’ll have a look at it in the bivouac, although it’s disappointing to lose two or three hours on the very first day of racing.”
CYPRESS, CALIFORNIA – The annual Toyo Tires Dakar Rally Blog is back at ToyoTires.com/Dakar with exclusive pre-race features and soon, daily coverage of the world’s most grueling, most unpredictable race. Covering nearly 3,500 miles over 13 days of competition, racers never know what Dakar will throw at them. This year, drivers will journey through Argentina and Chile between January 5 and 18.
Embracing the theme Meet the Unexpected, Toyo Tires will provide exclusive, first-hand reports from the Dakar Rally while chasing Team Toyo® racers Robby Gordon and BJ Baldwin as well as accomplished French-American racer Guerlain Chicherit. Fans can also depend on the Toyo Tires Dakar Rally Blog for never-before-seen interviews, footage and photos. All three drivers will compete on race proven 37-inch Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires.
“Daily posts by Toyo Tires will capture the unexpected and take race fans inside the legendary Dakar Rally,” said Amy Coleman, senior director of marketing, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “From pre-race interviews to real-time updates, our annual Dakar Rally blog will be loaded with content that keeps people coming back for more.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Robby Gordon will begin his tenth Dakar Rally in Rosario, Argentina Jan. 5 as one of 149 international competitors as he again competes to become the first American in history to win the most extreme and demanding motorsports event in the world.
Widely regarded as one of the world’s best off-road racers, Gordon’s previous attempts at overall Dakar Rally victory have resulted in an amazing nine stage victories, however, the overall title has eluded him. In 2005, his initial Dakar Rally effort, he become the first American to win a stage in the race which began in 1979.
Entering its 35th edition, Frenchmen have dominated the Rally, taking 19 overall victories. Finland has produced five race winners, Japan three, Germany two and one each from South Africa, Belgium, Qatar, Spain and Sweden.
“I feel more prepared than in any of our previous trips to the Dakar Rally,” Gordon said. “Since our first race in 2005, where we accomplished our goal of becoming the first American to win a stage, our focus has been on winning the overall title. I believe with the experience we have, and the new car we have built, this year could be our time.”
Charlotte, N.C. (November 27, 2013) – Following the successful inaugural season of the SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks (SST), the 2014 SST schedule features 10 race venues, all within North America’s top-50 markets, including six venues within the top-15.
Several of the events will feature two rounds of competition, bringing the total number of rounds to 15 for the second season of the highly competitive and high-flying Super Trucks.
Among the cities SST will visit include Las Vegas, Toronto, San Diego, Los Angeles, Detroit, Indianapolis and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. One additional city will be announced, which SST founder and president Robby Gordon, believes will be the headline event of the 2014 season. Specific dates will be announced in conjunction with promoters and other local partners. However, it can be stated the season will start in Las Vegas on March 7 and end at the same venue on Nov. 7.
Las Vegas, NV – Team Toyo racer Robby Gordon won the first-ever Stadium SUPER Trucks Series (SST) Championship last weekend in his Toyo Open Country tires-equipped #7 SPEED Energy/MAPEI race truck. The final race was held on a temporary course in the parking lot in front of the landmark Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Friday, November 8.
Toyo Tires-equipped vehicles dominated the heat races, as Team Toyo’s Kyle LeDuc, driving his #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires truck, won Heat #1. At the end of Heat #2, Robby Gordon walked away with the win and closed the margin for the championship against Rob MacCachren. In the final, Gordon secured the points needed to take the hard fought championship when he finished second on the podium behind first place PJ Jones.