Team Hummer Prepares for the 2011 Dakar Rally
Just days until the start of the highly anticipated 2011 Dakar Rally, Robby Gordon and Team HUMMER are getting ready to head south to Argentina but the preparation for the Dakar Rally started months ago as the first shipment of equipment, including the support vehicles, left the Charlotte, North Carolina based shop on November 5th. The massive Freightliner support vehicles were outfitted with supplies, car parts, and equipment necessary to run the 15-day event. Once complete, they made their way from Charlotte to Jacksonville, FL where they were loaded onto ocean container ships. The vehicles then made their more than 5,000 miles journey to Buenos Aires, Argentina where they will be met by the team and final details will be completed for the January 1st start date.
Team HUMMER will be fielding two race vehicles in the 2011 edition of the Dakar Rally, both sponsored by SPEED Energy Drink. “Proper preparation for the Dakar Rally is the first step toward an overall victory. It entails many long days at the race shop making sure every single part of the race cars are perfect,” says shop manager, Johnny Kaiser. Down to the smallest detail, the race vehicles are completely built in house. Countless hours are put into the design, engineering, fabrication, machine work and assembly that go into building the specialized race vehicles.
For the sixth year as a team owner in the infamous Dakar Rally, Gordon will be piloting a HUMMER in the 2011 edition of the rally. Starting as a bare chassis or blank canvas, the HUMMERs individually transform into a work of art. A work of art that must withstand the brutal punishment that is ahead: the dirt roads, rocky mountains and seemingly endless sand dunes that take their toll on the vehicles. Every part and piece that is put on the race vehicles is scrutinized, making sure that it is capable of withstanding the elements. Although the process starts at the shop, it is not vacation when the team arrives in Argentina. After every stage, the guys stay up each night prepping the HUMMERs for the next day’s stage. This process continues for fifteen days until the final stage of the rally.
In mid-December, the cars are loaded in a transporter and make their way to Miami, Florida where they are shipped via airfreight to South America. The team optimizes every hour working on these cars to ensure that every detail is complete. “I couldn’t be more proud of my guys for the effort and dedication they put into the preparation of the vehicles for the rally this year,” says Gordon. “Being prepared is half the battle.”
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!
Robby Gordon and Team HUMMER Dakar Statistics
· First American to win a stage in Dakar Rally while driving for the VW Touareg Factory team
· Two stage victories
· Overall 12th place in a field of more than 460 competitors
· Gordon began his own Dakar effort with the creation of Team HUMMER
· Campaigned a purpose built Hummer H3 in conjunction with General Motors
· Ran as high as fifth in a field of more than 500 competitors before a hole in the radiator led to mechanical failure
· Returned to Dakar with new sponsor and greater factory engineering support from General Motors
· Won one stage (longest stage overall)
· Overall 8th place finish
· The Dakar Rally was cancelled due to security threats in Mauritana, but Gordon ran in the replacement Rally, the Central European Rally, which took place through Hungary, Romania and Budapest
· Campaigned as a two-race vehicle team and both vehicles finished in overall top-10 (7th and 10th)
· The Dakar Rally was moved to South American and took place in Argentina and Chile
· Campaigned again as a two-race vehicle team
· Robby Gordon finished 3rd overall and the second team Hummer finished 13th overall
· Campaigned as a three-race vehicle team throughout Argentina and Chile
· Robby Gordon finished 8th overall, the Vanguard Hummer finished 20th and the Chile Hummer ended on Stage 3 after the transmission expired