Monday
Jan042016

American Drivers Robby Gordon and Sheldon Creed Post Respectable 20th and 38th Place Finishes during Stage 2 of the 2016 Dakar Rally

TERMAS DE RIO HONDO, Argentina (January 4, 2016) – After a cancellation of the first stage on Sunday due to inclement weather, Americans Robby Gordon and Sheldon Creed would roll their identically prepared SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HST Gordini supercars to the starting line and take the green flag of Stage 2 on Monday morning. 
    
However, like the previous day it was known right away that weather would play a huge factor in the outcome of the stage as Rally officials would shorten the special from 521 km (323.7 mi) to 387 km (240.5 mi) as the risk of low lying clouds and darkness would threaten to ground safety aircraft during the later moments of the year’s longest special. 
    
Dealing with a hilly rain soaked course with over flowing streams and rivers, Team SPEED knew they would have their work cut out for them in the first challenge of the 38th Annual Dakar Rally. 
    
Starting in the 29th position Robby Gordon broke out to a blistering pace working his way up to the 15th position by km 120 just 3 minutes and 51 seconds behind leader Sebastian Loeb. But like any form of racing qualifying in the front has drastic advantages, especially in off-road racing, and today was no different as competitors who started further back dealt with a chewed up race course. 
    
Shortly after the km 170 mark Gordon would find an obstacle that was too just much for the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / TRAXXAS HST Gordini to bare as it came to rest stuck in a thick bog of deep mud. While Gordon and Navigator Kellon Welch accessed and worked themselves out of the situation, 15 minutes were lost to the leader once back on course and moving. 
    
Gordon would go on to finish Stage 2 in 4 hours, 3 minutes and 22 seconds, 17 minutes and 17 seconds behind the time set by stage winner and overall leader Sebastian Loeb of France who finished in a time of 3 hours, 45 minutes and 46 seconds. 
    
“Things were going really good today, and we just got stuck, it’s very unfortunate to give up all that time to the leaders,” stated Gordon after Stage 2. 
With 11 stages remaining Gordon has plenty of time to make up as much of the 17 minute and 17 second deficit as possible, and try to add to his impressive ten career stage victories throughout his 11-year Dakar career. 
    
Team SPEED teammate and 2015 SST Champion Sheldon Creed re-wrote the Dakar history books today by becoming the youngest competitor in the history of the Dakar Rally at the bright age of 18 to start a stage. Creed would race a respectable and smart race finishing his first Dakar stage in a time of 4 hours, 20 minutes, and 54 seconds, just 35 minutes and 8 seconds behind the leader Loeb.  
    
Tuesday’s third stage (663 kilometers/412 miles) will take drivers from Termas De Rio Hondo to San Salvador De Jujuy through one of the most beautiful regions in Argentina. The stage was designed for those hunting down the leaders opportunities to make advances. Gordon has no other choice, but to drive hard and finish among the top fifteen in hopes of an improved starting position for future stages.
    
Follow the quest for an American podium finish in the 2016 Dakar Rally for Team SPEED through live timing and scoring as well as live updates with chat at http://www.planetrobby.com and http://www.StadiumSuperTrucks.com
    
NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will provide daily highlights after each stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally starting Monday, January 5th at 5:30 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for exact time and channel for availability. 
    
Photos from Stage 2 can be downloaded from the following link: 
https://app.box.com/s/csndez21tpmyhg58x2g3r564urwb33em
    
Team SPEED is supported by the following partners; SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, TRAXXAS, KMC Wheels, Arctic Cat, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, King Shocks, Outlaw LED, Mastercraft Safety, Holley Performance, Embee Performance, MAC Tools, DeWALT, Freightliner Trucks, Replay XD, Valvoline, Impact by Mastercraft Safety, Lincoln Electric, Torchmate by Lincoln Electric, Ron Davis Racing Products, Techni Waterjet, Mechanix Wear, Saftey-Kleen, Weddle Industries, and Loctite.
    
Stage 3: Termas De Rio Hondo – San Salvador De Jujuy
    
Cars-Trucks
Special Sections: 314 km
Total: 663 km 
    
The format is tighter for the day’s race against the clock.. as are the mountain tracks featured in the special section. Experts in sliding and on the road will be able to showcase their skills here, as long as they stay constantly focused. Those hunting down the leaders will be on high alert during this route, which has been designed for opportunists. But the program could also be transformed by any rain: as even the strongest competitors do not necessarily perform well on heavy ground. 
    
*Positions updated after Stages accessed Penalties (Gordon moved to 20th, and Creed dropped to 38th with a 1 minute penalty) 

Sunday
Jan032016

Start of 2016 Dakar Rally for Team SPEED Delayed Due to Inclement Weather

 

VILLAS CARLOS PAZ, Argentina (January 3, 2016) – American teammates Robby Gordon and Sheldon Creed will need to wait until Monday morning to begin their attempt at the 38th Annual Dakar Rally, as rally organizers cancelled the first special Sunday morning from Rosario to Villa Carlos Paz due to treacherous heavy rains and low lying clouds throughout the area. 
    
Due to the extreme weather conditions all aircraft would remain grounded along the racecourse, making it impossible for ASO officials to guarantee the proper safety of competitors. 
    
Once the stage was officially cancelled for the day Gordon and Creed were sent on there way down the rained soaked racecourse and highway under transit section rules to safely insure their No. 312 and No. 337 SPEED Energy/ Toyo Tires/ TRAXXAS HST Gordini Supercar’s would make it to the evenings bivouac in Villa Carlos Paz.  
    
Gordon, who was scheduled to start 25th in Sunday’s cancelled first stage, will roll off the line in the same position for Monday’s marathon stage to Termas De Rio Hondo, while first time Dakar competitor Sheldon Creed will start in the 38th position.   
    
    
Deemed to be the longest and trickiest special of the 2016 Rally, an initial link section of 70 km (43.5 mi) long will take the competitors to the start of the second special. With nearly 510 km's (317 mi) of racing on an ultra fast course both HST Gordini’s will unleash showing the 109 other competitors in the car class their first initial threat, making up extensive ground to the frontrunners.
 
Follow the quest for an American podium finish in the 2016 Dakar Rally for Team SPEED through live timing and scoring as well as live updates with chat at http://www.planetrobby.com and http://www.StadiumSuperTrucks.com
    
Team SPEED is supported by the following partners; SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, TRAXXAS, KMC Wheels, Arctic Cat, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, King Shocks, Outlaw LED, Mastercraft Safety, Holley Performance, Embee Performance, MAC Tools, DeWALT, Freightliner Trucks, Replay XD, Valvoline, Impact by Mastercraft Safety, Lincoln Electric, Torchmate by Lincoln Electric, Ron Davis Racing Products, Techni Waterjet, Mechanix Wear, Saftey-Kleen, Weddle Industries, and Loctite.
    
Stage 2: Villa Carlos Paz – Termas De Rio Hondo
Cars-Trucks 
Special Sections: 521 km (323.7 mi)
Total: 858 km (533.1 mi)
    

The statistics speak for themselves: with around 800 kilometers to cover depending on the category, the day will be very long. There is a significant distance to cover in both the special and the liaison sections: although the terrain presents no real difficulties, the relatively fast tracks may already benefit those who love hills and crossing rivers and who can keep up high speeds over the whole distance. Cars and trucks entitled to an extension on this day.


Saturday
Jan022016

Robby Gordon Greeted Enthusiastically at Dakar Rally Preliminaries, Claims 25th in Mini-Section Prologue for Stage 1 

ROSARIO, Argentina (January 2, 2016) – A massive crowd of thousands of enthusiastic fans hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite drivers, and riders stood outside Saturday’s mandatory race briefing and opening ceremony for the 37th Dakar Rally, prior to the hundreds of competitors partaking in the timed mini-section from Buenos Aires to Rosario. Based on their the finishing times in the prologue drivers and riders will be lined up in logical starting order for Sunday’s Stage 1 of the 2016 Rally.
    
While all were properly recognized by the large crowd, it was the United States’ Robby Gordon, celebrating his birthday, who was completely surrounded by adoring fans as they let it be known who the Dakar Rally’s clear fan favorite is. After the feel-good exit from the race briefing where Gordon and teammate 2015 Stadium SUPER Trucks Champion Sheldon Creed were surrounded by thousands, Team SPEED made their way to Saturday’s opening ceremonies outside Argentina’s presidential palace Casa Rosada, as fans wished competitors good luck prior to the start of the days 11 km timed mini-section to Rosario.
    
The short prologue, which saw all competitors compete in a time-special, saw Robby Gordon finish 25 seconds off the leader Bernhard Ten Brinke’s pace in the 25th position, while Dakar rookie Sheldon Creed would round out his prologue effort out in the 38th position, 1 minute behind the leader respectively. It is noted after 64 drivers took the green in the special a Mini-competitor in the car division lost control and went into the crowd during his prologue effort forcing ASO officials to cancel the rest of the short special. 
    
With the preliminaries and prologue complete, Team SPEED, is spending the final hours making preparations for Sunday’s first special from Rosario to Villa Carlos (Stage No. 1), where Gordon and Creed will be two of most watched competitors in the car division. 
    
The first stage on Sunday will include 662 kilometers with 258 km (160.3 miles) of those featuring hard racing before an overnight break at the first full bivouac at Villa Carlos Paz. The circuit follows the heart of the Argentinean countryside with fast, sharp turns that will divide up the field on day one in a showcase of driver skill. All teams that complete the stage will work on their race vehicles overnight and line up again for Monday’s second stage in the order in which they finished the first leg of the Rally.
    
Villa Carlos Paz lies on the western slope of the Sierras Chicas and its population of 56,000 will be a stark contrast to the more than three million people that teams encountered in the Metropolitan limits of Buenos Aires. While the lakeside tourist town may be smaller, its crowds should be just as enthusiastic when the vehicles and their support teams begin arriving Monday afternoon. 
    
While the 2016 Dakar Rally will not be won on Sunday, it will become immediately clear who the contenders for the championship will be and will also likely eliminate some of this year’s top competitors.
    
Follow the quest for an American podium finish in the 2016 Dakar Rally for Team SPEED through live timing and scoring as well as live updates with chat at http://www.planetrobby.com and http://www.StadiumSuperTrucks.com
    
Team SPEED is supported by the following partners; SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, TRAXXAS, KMC Wheels, Arctic Cat, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, King Shocks, Outlaw LED, Mastercraft Safety, Holley Performance, Embee Performance, MAC Tools, DeWALT, Freightliner Trucks, Replay XD, Valvoline, Impact by Mastercraft Safety, Lincoln Electric, Torchmate by Lincoln Electric, Ron Davis Racing Products, Techni Waterjet, Mechanix Wear, Saftey-Kleen, Weddle Industries, and Loctite.
    
Stage 1: Rosario – Villa Carlos Paz
    
Cars – Trucks 
Special Sections: 258 km
Total: 662 km
    
Argentina is a country of mountains, in all forms. Although the first stage is not yet at altitude, the summits are well and truly visible. The wheels of the vehicles follow sinewy and undulating tracks, with the exception of the first, faster, part of the special section. A partial separation of the categories will ensure dangerous overtaking is avoided.