Robby Gordon and the SPEED Energy Hummer will return to the deserts and dust of South America for the 2013 Dakar Rally, which starts from Peru for the first time.
Gordon and the Hummer have been a fixture of the Dakar Rally in recent years, the American frequently taking on, and beating, the manufacturer factory squads with an overall best finish of third in 2009 and a total of six stage victories, including two in 2012 before controversial disqualification while in contention for a second top three result. Gordon, however, still added a final stage win of the year on the final stage.
Gordon will be joined by Kellon Walch and co-driver in the custom-built Hummer, equipped with an automated tyre re-inflation system. After discussions with Dakar organisers the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) an agreement was reached in which the car – which will carry race number 315 – will be inspected by officials before starting the race.
“I am excited to go back to race the prestigious Dakar Rally and show the world that we are ready to give it our best shot once again at an overall victory,” said Gordon. “Obviously our cars are good enough to compete for the win. Last year we had the fastest cars at the rally and led the most check points with the fastest times, with five wins as a team, two wins with the second Hummer and three wins for myself. It is now time for us to go back and capitalize on what we developed and worked on over the last seven years to put ourselves in position to compete for the overall win. “
Gordon will face strong opposition on the near 5000 mile route from Peruvian capital Lima to the Chile’s capital in Santiago – 2012 winner Stephane Peterhansel leads a fleet of MINI drivers while Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al-Attiyah, overall victors in 2010 and 2011 respectively, will each race a Red Bull backed buggy.
Though a new route for the Dakar the 2013 stages bring familiar challenges to Gordon and his fellow competitors as the 14 stages of the event (January 5-19) encompass towering desert dunes, mountain passes through the Andes and technical forest tracks on a flying visit to Argentina in the middle of the rally.