La Rioja, Argentina – Stage 10 in this year’s Dakar Rally was a much shorter stage than yesterday but featured much of the same narrow WRC-style course. Given this, Robby Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch knew that it would not be suitable for the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER.

Starting fourth today allowed Gordon to keep pace with the 4wd cars in order to stay within reach. Gordon put on a spectacular show with his vehicle, pushing corners through river crossings and jumping cattle crossings, ultimately giving the locals a reason  to cheer. Gordon finished fifth, 6 minutes and 51 seconds behind the stage winner.

Cordoba, Argentina – Following a much needed rest day for teams, today’s stage from Tucumán to Córdoba was one of the toughest and longest of this year’s Dakar Rally. Drivers faced a course similar to what would be seen during a WRC race, an advantage that the 4WD race cars had over the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER.

When the reviewed results came in for Stage 8, Gordon was scored third. Thus, he started third in today’s stage, which was helpful to keep pace with the leaders during the 593KM Special. Gordon lost a few minutes by KM100 and was down nearly 8 minutes to the leader near by the second half of the stage. Not letting the leaders stray too far, Gordon stayed in the top-5 for much of the Special bringing the HUMMER home with a solid fourth place finish, 8 minutes and 37 seconds behind.

Stage 8 in the 2013 Dakar Rally continued in Argentina, taking competitors from Salta to Tucumán. Initially, it was suppose to be one of the longest specials in this year’s race comprising of a 152KM liaison to a 471KM Special then another 228KM to the bivouac. Due to today’s weather conditions, the Special was shortened by more than half, resulting in only 188KM of competition.

Robby Gordon, driver of the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER jumped into the lead early and maintained a fast pace bouncing between first and third place. During the last 40KM, Gordon suffered a puncture in his tire and lost five minutes. Dropping from second to third, he crossed the shortened finish line 5 minutes and 17 seconds behind today’s winner. Gordon entered the bivouac with a third place finish, his fourth consecutive third place finish. This finish could possibly change overnight while the organization is actively looking into today’s situation to determine a course of action.

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.

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.

Charlotte, NC –Robby Gordon’s Team SPEED and Toyo Tires® are returning to compete in the 2012 Dakar Rally in force.  This year, two of Robby Gordon’s specially built HUMMER H3 racers will compete for the overall win.  Gordon will drive his bright orange #303 SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires entry; while defending 2011 Dakar winner, Nasser Al-Attiyah, joins the team to pilot the #300 Qatar HUMMER H3 racer.  The race vehicles rely on Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires to deliver off-road performance and durability.

Team SPEED and Toyo Tires are no strangers to Dakar.  Gordon and Toyo Tires first competed in the Dakar in 2006.  Together they showed their capabilities with a Stage 6 win and an Open Class victory in the 2007 Dakar, and then scored their highest finish, a third overall, in the 2009 Dakar.  That year, the HUMMER was the only two-wheel-drive vehicle to finish in the top ten, proving the capabilities of the team and the Open Country M/T-R tires.

“Toyo Tires and I have worked hard over the years to develop a tire combination that is right for the HUMMER,” said Gordon.  “Their team has put a lot of effort into making a Toyo tire that is tough, durable and ready for the Dakar Rally.  It has good grip and can sustain the varying terrain, from sand to slick gravel roads to hard rocky areas.  I look forward to getting out there and racing on it.”

For the 2012 Dakar, Robby Gordon will be joined in the cockpit by multiple Baja 1000 winner and off-road legend, Johnny Campbell.  Campbell will serve as navigator in the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HUMMER, guiding the vehicle through challenging terrain on this 14-day, and nearly 6,000-mile Pan-American odyssey.  The 2012 Dakar starts on New Year’s Day on the East coast of Argentina in Mar Del Plata.  It will cross over the Andes of Chile and then finish on South America’s West Coast in Lima, Peru.

“Dakar is the most challenging off-road endurance race on the planet and is a true test of both man and equipment,” said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “We are proud to have Toyo Tires represented by these off-road champions. The Open Country M/T-R is the perfect tire to lead them to their goal of winning the 2012 Dakar.”

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