Eliseo Salazar to Pilot Second HUMMER for Robby Gordon’s Team HUMMER in the 2011 Dakar Rally

Dec. 30, 2010 By Press Release
Buenos Aires, Argentina (December 30, 2010) – Robby Gordon has enlisted the driving skills of Chilean, Eliseo Salazar, to contribute to the efforts of Team HUMMER and their quest to win the infamous Dakar Rally.  Salazar and navigator, Steve La Roza, will be driving the No. 327 SPEED Energy / Cristal CERO HUMMER race vehicle in the cross country test of endurance.

Salazar’s racing roots run deep.  Beginning his career in 1981, Eliseo is the only Chilean to ever race in the Formula 1 series.  He also holds the title of the only driver in the world to race the Monaco Grand Prix, 24-Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis 500, 24-Hours of Daytona and the Dakar Rally.

The 2011 rally will be Salazar’s second attempt at the Dakar Rally.  When asked what it means to join Team HUMMER Salazar states, “It’s the highlight of my career.  To race with Team HUMMER means to be a part of one of the most important teams in the Dakar Rally.”  For Eliseo, racing with Robby Gordon as a teammate is the ultimate experience because “he is a friend and an outstanding off road racer.”

“I am personally very excited about having Eliseo driving on our team. I have raced with Eliseo before in Indy cars. In fact, we were teammates in 2001 when we both drove for Foyt in the Indianapolis 500. Eliseo has driven the first version of the HUMMER before and has been racing rallies in Chile for the last few years, so I know this is going to help him with driving the HUMMER. With Cristal CERO being  partners with Speed Energy on Eliseo's HUMMER, it gives us great opportunities in Chile and Argentina with Speed to become an international brand. I look forward to this year’s adventure with Eliseo - watching and rooting for him to crack the top 10,” commented Robby Gordon. 

Being a native of Chile and racing in his home country is an honor for Eliseo Salazar.  “The Dakar route covers my native country so it will be special for me to be in touch with fans all over Chile who have supported my thirty-six year racing career.”  He also knows that the terrain through the Atacama Desert will be the hardest and most extreme, so “it will be important to be well prepared for these stages,” says Salazar.

Alongside Salazar will be his navigator, Steve La Roza.  La Roza has gained most of his Dakar experience in the motorbike category, but is up for the challenge of navigating the SPEED Energy / Cristal CERO HUMMER through the most difficult race course on the planet.

About Cristal CERO,0° – Cristal CERO,0° is a completely alcohol-free beer that maintains the incomparable flavor of Cristal beer through an elaborate manufacturing process by CCU. This product is related to CCU’s trend toward a more healthy way of life, supporting today’s society in the challenges it faces, stimulating responsibility with the community, and always concerned to meet the growing needs of its customers.

About SPEED Energy – SPEED Energy is available in three flavors: Unleaded, Fuel, and Octane, which provides the human machine with the fuel it needs to keep up with the SPEED of life. Each drink contains a potent energy blend of B-vitamins, caffeine, taurine and ginseng. SPEED is packaged in 12 ounce sleek cans that have a stylish black top and sexy body and are available in singles, four-packs, and cases.  SPEED Energy is available in the United States in major retailers, convenience stores, grocery stores, bars and nightclubs. For more information, please visit speedenergy.com.

Race Coverage – For fans tracking the Dakar Rally at home, please visit speedenergy.com, planetrobby.com, dakar.com along with Facebook and Twitter for daily updates on the team’s performance including a daily recap, photos and videos.  The team will also be doing a preview daily leading up to the Rally that details their Dakar program and what it takes to get the team ready to participate in the 14-stage event. The Versus Channel will provide coverage throughout the United States.  A 30-minute daily program featuring highlights from that day’s racing will be aired on Versus daily at 3:30 p.m. with a replay airing later in the day.  Check your local listing for exact show times.

NEW for 2011 – The SPEED Energy APP featuring exclusive updates of Robby Gordon and his SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER during the 2011 Dakar Rally.  Follow Robby as he competes in the world's toughest race through Argentina and Chile.  Be the first to hear updates from the driver himself and get exclusive videos and photos during the team's quest to win the coveted Dakar Rally.  You'll be able to keep up with Robby during the rally from your iPhone or iPad!

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