Robby Gordon Making his 11th Attempt at the Dakar RallyPosted in News on December 31, 2014
The Dakar Rally has been one of the toughest and most challenging motorsports event in the world and for the last 10 years, there’s been one American trying to capture the glory. Robby Gordon might be known by many people as a NASCAR star but the reality is that Robby is really more of an off-road god. The guy has been racing off-road since the 80’s when he changed the face of desert racing with the Venable Racing Hay Hauler F-100.
While Robby Gordon has had a lot of success in the Dakar Rally and has even captured 11 stage wins — he has yet to win the overall title. Last year he fielded a completely new vehicle built specifically to compete at the Dakar Rally. Unfortunately the HST Gordini wasn’t able to be tested as much as Robby would have liked and as a result it suffered from severe vapor lock issues which ultimately kept it from dominating against the rabid pack of Mini’s.
Not one to easily quit, Robby Gordon and his team put in some serious testing time and rebuilt the HST Gordini once again to make another attempt at the famed Dakar Rally. This meant that they would be testing the HST Gordini in some serious triple digit heat in the middle of July in the sand dunes of Glamis, CA. After extensive testing, the HST Gordini was prepped for Dakar and shipped off to South America along with their big behemoth support truck.
After a full year of work, thousands of miles of testing and countless all-nighters, Robby Gordon and his HST Gordini race car were reunited Monday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in preparation for Sunday’s start of the 2015 Dakar Rally.
“Like every year, our objective and our belief is that we can win the overall title,” Gordon said. “We will race against some of the greatest off-road drivers and teams in the world, but if we didn’t believe we could compete we wouldn’t enter the Dakar. More than any other race we have ever entered, the Dakar is about teamwork, organization and execution. We believe we have the experience to win and a team that can execute. It will come down to me as the driver not making mistakes and every person on the team doing their job. This is the ultimate challenge.”
In total 665 vehicles will begin the 2015 Dakar Rally, with Gordon and navigator Johnny Campbell among 138 entries in the car class. There are an additional 164 in the motorcycle class, 48 quads and 64 trucks. Fifty-three nations will be represented in the field, with Gordon’s effort being the only entry from the United States.
That Dakar Rally consists of crossing 9,111 kilometers (5,661 miles) of desert terrain in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile over 14 days. Gordon is fond of saying that the Dakar Rally is like competing in 13 Daytona 500s or Indianapolis 500s on consecutive days, including rebuilding your car each night.
The team’s effort will begin Jan. 3 in front of a massive audience on the steps of “La Casa Rosada,” the presidential palace in Argentina for the annual podium ceremony. If tradition holds, Gordon will again stir the excitement of the crowd by backing his Gordini off the huge podium where the drivers are introduced and literally jump his car into the 2015 Rally just has he would one of his Stadium Super Trucks.
Follow the Dakar Rally through live timing and scoring as well as live updates at www.planetrobby.com. NBCSN will provide daily highlights beginning Jan. 5 from 4:30 to 5 p.m. ET.
Check out the two-part documentary that aired earlier this month on NBCSN highlighting Gordon’s preparations for the 2015 Dakar Rally!