Mountains Challenge Team Dakar USA on Stage Two
Baia Mare, Romania -- The second stage of the Central Europe Rally proved to be quite the challenge for Team Dakar USA. The mountainous tracks on the outskirts of Baia Mare proved to favor the four-wheel drive vehicles today. Recent snow storms left the tracks muddy in places and made the rocky course very slippery.
Approaching the stage the Hummer team conceded the disadvantage and vowed to fight back on the upcoming specials but for today and possibly tomorrow they will take their lumps. The day was to be comprised of two identical specials each 76km in length. After the first special Robby Gordon found himself 4:43 back from special winner Stephan Peterhansel. He posted the 11th fastest time. BJ Baldwin lost 8:14 and finished 15th on the special. After the motorbikes, cars and trucks grooved up the course the organizers decided to shorten the second special to just 34km.
"This was the first time the Hummers had seen anything like this. The tracks were really muddy, there was snow, slippery rocks and it was very tight. Obviously it suited the four-wheel drive cars. Really we just wanted to finish in one piece. We did have some navigation challenges. This is very different from what Andy is used too. R now we are behind and we are going to fight like hell to get back into this rally. But as it stands right now, with the stages being short like they are it's going to be very difficult without help," said Gordon. "
The shortened special allowed Gordon to limit the damage on the second special. He finished just 39 seconds back of winner Al Attiyah, which secured a fourth place finish on the special. BJ Baldwin was not so lucky. A small rock managed to work its way up into the throttle cable housing and prevented Baldwin from getting full power. The freak occurrence cost Baldwin 6:22 and relegated him to a 30th place finish.
At the end of the day Robby Gordon is 7th in the overall classification, 4:03 back while Baldwin's Vanguard Hummer is 18th overall, 22:17 back. Tomorrow's stage will be a repeat of today's events and then the rally returns to the site of the first stage, which was more suited for the Hummers.
Coverage of the Central Europe Rally can be seen in the United States on DirecTV. The half hour show will be aired twice -- first at 7p.m. EST and then again at 12:30a.m. Additional rally coverage can also be found on robbygordon.com and robbysuprising.com where Team Dakar USA will have daily updates, the twitter micro blog feed, and videos.
Robby's Uprising features Central Europe Rally Programming
In case you miss the Central Europe Rally race broadcast on DirecTV's 'The 101' you can tune into robbysuprising.com and watch the rally unfold from Team Dakar USA's perspective.
DirecTV's channel 101 will air the programming from the 19th through the 26th of April. The half hour show will include the ASO world feed that includes action from the motorcycles, cars and trucks. Directly following you can catch up with the progress of the American team of Robby Gordon and BJ Baldwin as they compete in Hungary and Romania. The show airs two times daily -- first at 7 p.m. EST and then again at 12:30a.m. Both racers are driving identically prepared Hummers on Toyo Tires.