Gordon on podium once again, Nasser finds trouble late in stage

STAGE 5 RECAP

Gordon on podium once again,  Nasser finds trouble late in stage

Fiambala, Argentina (January 5, 2012) – Robby Gordon and his SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HUMMER did exactly what needed to be done in the 5th stage of the Dakar Rally to gain time and position in the overall standings. The same can’t be said for his teammate,  Qatarian driver, Nasser Al-Attiyah,  as a costly mistake could diminish his hopes for another Dakar Rally overall victory.

Gordon started off the line in 14th place quickly setting a pace as one of the fastest cars in the dunes today.  This stage, taking the competitors from Chilecito to Fiambala, had to be shortened due to large amounts of rain in the area.

Nasser Al-Attiyah jumped out to an early lead with Robby Gordon right on his tail. Gordon talked about his solid run, “we ran together for a good part of the stage. He ran his car pretty hard so I figured if that’s what he wants to do then that’s okay. I just didn’t want him to get too far out front from me. For us it was good, just what we wanted. If it wasn’t for stopping to aid Nasser when he had problems, I’m sure we could have won yet another stage. Today showed what our cars are capable of in the sand and I look forward to progressing further into the rally on the days to come.”

After leading nearly the entire special, Al-Attiyah would encounter problems towards the end and found himself losing even more minutes to the overall leader.  Pushing his HUMMER to the limit would cause him to bottom out and bend the frame near the rear of the race vehicle that surrounds the motor; therefore resulting in spare wheel rubbing against the water lines causing slight damage but not enough to hurt the motor since Nasser stopped just in time and fixed the problem.

“Even though he may be down in time again, the positive side of it is that he is capable of winning stages. He must keep his head up and keep digging. Racers don’t run the Dakar to come here and quit.” Gordon said about Al-Attiyah being nearly an hour down now to the leader.

With Gordon gaining 3 minutes and now sitting in 4th place overall, he knows consistency is a must for him and his SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires team. Tomorrow is a long stage for everyone as the teams cross the Andes into Chile. Gordon looks to post another top 5 finish, which would be his 5th out of 6 stages. Al-Attiyah will look for redemption as he will try for his second stage victory in the 2012 Dakar Rally.

*Editors note: STAGE 6 CANCELEDDue to the bad weather continuing over the Andes Cordillera (rain and snow), the Chilean authorities were forced to close, for the night, the border at Paso de San Francisco, situated at 4700m.For the 7th time, the Dakar is about to cross over the Andes, and because of very unfavourable conditions, added to the fact that the course has been hit by rain and snow, in order to guarantee the security of the competitors and those following the rally, the organisers have decided to organise a convoy for all vehicles tomorrow. The itinerary has been changed after the border (follow the main road on the right which goes to Diego de Almagro).

About SPEED Energy– SPEED Energy is available in four flavors: Unleaded, Fuel, Ethanol 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– Follow Team SPEED during the 2012 Dakar Rally on www.speedenergy.com as well as twitter and facebook at www.twitter.com/speed_energy and www.facebook.com/thespeedenergydrink.  Daily highlights from each stage can be viewed on the NBC Sports Network (formerly known as Versus) January 1st – the 15th at 1:30AM Eastern Standard time.  Please check your local listings on where to find the NBC Sports Network.

The SPEED Energy APP – featuring exclusive updates of Robby Gordon and his SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER during the 2012 Dakar Rally.  Follow Robby as he competes in the world’s toughest race through Argentina, Chile and Peru.  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!

About the Author

Jeff Knoll is the former Event Director for the King of the Hammers event. He has raced various classes in SCORE, BITD, MORE, and MDR. Following the California 200, Knoll travelled to Washington, DC to meet with BLM officials regarding the Special Recreation Permit policies of the BLM. Knoll serves on the BLM’s Desert Advisory Sub-Committee regarding Special Recreation Permits. Knoll also drafted language for Nevada’s Senate Bill 156 in 2011 regarding action sports safety.

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