The punches keep coming for Robby Gordon. After suffering from speed restrictions in Stage 2 of the Dakar Rally, Stage 3 didn’t go well either. Gordon lost hours of precious time after differential problems disabled the Textron XXR. Gordon was stranded in the middle of the course until teammate Cole Potts arrived with a parts box. Rules state that competitors cannot receive outside assistance. Only vehicles entered in the Rally can bring needed tools and parts. Gordon had the repair completed in roughly 7 hours and was back underway, finishing the stage in the dark of night.
Here is where things get confusing. All three of the Textron vehicles are on the withdraw list and not currently being tracked after missing their start times. Robby finished Stage 4 after problems on the course. Both Cole Potts and Blade Hildebrand were reportedly stuck in the silt, better known to Dakar competitors as “fesh-fesh.” So far there hasn’t been any comment from the team, but the chatter from Peru is that Robby Gordon is officially out of the rally.
Casey Currie finished 4th in Stage 3. Currie says he has gone through a major learning curve so far and is still trying to figure the rally out. A language barrier is also not helping navigation with his Can-Am co-driver. Stage 4 features a 700-kilometer marathon leg. Mechanics will not be available at the bivouac. Competitors must perform maintenance and repairs on their own. Currie also says he is looking forward to an upcoming and much needed rest day.
Nasser Al-Attiyah sits atop the general standings in the car class at the end of Stage 4. He remains locked in tight battle with Stephane Peterhansel and Nani Roma. All three Dakar veterans are vying for the championship title. Russian-born Eduard Nikolaev sits up front in the truck class. He is piloting a 4,000-pound Kamaz.
Photos Courtesy of Can-Am, Team Speed and Dakar Rally Photographers.