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Dakar Rally Stage 2: Struggles Continue For Robby Gordon

Stage 2 took the Dakar Rally competitors from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona in Peru. The ASO sanctioning body for the rally has already dropped the hammer on Robby Gordon. Based on the rules of Gordon’s entry, the Textron XXR would be limited to about 130 km/h. Of course this did not sit well with Gordon. He wasted no time filing a protest.

“What the ASO told us in the driver’s briefing last night was that today’s stage would be a dune race and today would be majority dunes. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. We just cut across dunes and got back into valleys, along the beach for miles and miles for what could have been wide-open throttle for us. With the rules limitation they have on our car we had to remain at half throttle and play the speed control game. It’s very disappointing they have this rule on us. It wasn’t so bad yesterday as it only hurt us a little bit, but I wasn’t prepared for this today. We got passed by some pretty slow cars doing 50 mph faster than we were, and there’s nothing we could do about it,” said a frustrated Robby Gordon.

Gordon finished Stage 2 with a time of 4 hours, 9 minutes, 30 seconds. He moves to 24th in the overall rankings. Cole Potts and navigator Max Eddy suffered a broken axle midway through the stage. They were able to limp the broken vehicle into the finish. The car will be repaired at the bivouac in time for the start of Stage 3. Blade Hildebrand finished Stage 2 in 4 hours, 31 minutes, 41 seconds. He sits 33rd in the overall rankings.

Up front, Frenchman Sebastien Loeb won Stage 2. Giniel de Villiers now has the overall lead. In the Side-by-Side class there are 30 competitors. Over half the field are newcomers. Casey Currie is in that category. Currie is ranked 14th after a 16th place finish. Currie struggled with navigation issues, getting lost multiple times. The route for Stage 3 goes from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa.

Photos Courtesy of Dakar Rally Photographers