Team Dakar USA Hummer Completes Tech Inspection December 29, 2005: Lisbon Portugal - With just two days to go before the start of the world's most grueling long-distance event, the Lisbon-Dakar Rally, Robby Gordon and his team of ace race ...
Team Dakar USA Hummer Completes Tech Inspection
December 29, 2005: Lisbon Portugal - With just two days to go before the start of the world's most grueling long-distance event, the Lisbon-Dakar Rally, Robby Gordon and his team of ace race mechanics proudly wheeled their sparkling, new Dakar Hummer H3 through one of the event's most difficult sections--.tech inspection. The grueling ordeal takes most competitors at least ten hours to complete and is often referred to as one of the rally's toughest stages.
Because of the very nature of the event, which will start on New Year's morning in Lisbon, Portugal and then take more than two weeks to cover more than 5000 miles of notoriously rugged mountain and desert terrain across North Africa, it has to be complicated because of the number of nations crossed and hazards faced. "This is one of the toughest races in the world." said Gordon upon getting the final sign-off for his car late on Friday evening. "We were up at dawn to do the final prep," he continued, "so Darren Skilton, my navigator for the race, and I could drive the H3 several miles through the outskirts of Lisbon, down to the city's main cultural center to begin tech.
It went incredibly smooth," said Gordon," as we weren't sure just how this new racer would be accepted by the ASO, the French organizers of this race. "Our H3 Dakar Hummer is a real departure from the types of vehicles normally seen in this event, but the race officials were great--we made it through in record time, about 9 hours."
With support from Toyo Tires, Hummer and Jim Beam, Gordon's crew were able to build the entire car in less than 90 days. "With this official acceptance for the race we feel we've already won one of the toughest parts of the race, the race against the clock just to be here." continued Gordon.
Not only does every car in the race have to pass a rigorous safety inspection, but travel documents, medical forms and visas have to be checked and double checked for every member of the crew before any team is permitted to move their racer to the "Parc Firme", a sealed impound area, where all the cars are gridded for the start on New Year's morning.
Robby Gordon's specially built, rear-engine, Dakar Hummer H3, a uniquely crafted 450+ horsepower racing truck Gordon designed and built from scratch, within his own racing organization, reflects much of Gordon's own self-taught philosophy about racing design. "Obviously", says Gordon, "the Europeans build some extremely well thought out racers, but I think some of our empirically developed "Baja Technology" may prove quite interesting after we cross Portugal and Spain and get into fourth and fifth days, down in the toughest part of the race in Africa.