HUMMER to sponsor Team Dakar USA
World-renowned driver to pilot H3 in world's most challenging off-road race
DETROIT -- HUMMER Division and Robby Gordon Motorsports have joined together to take on the Dakar Rally, widely considered to be the most grueling off-road race in the world due to its brutal terrain and extreme environmental conditions. Gordon will lead his Team Dakar USA from behind the wheel of a HUMMER H3 race truck. His relationship with HUMMER will also include driving an H3 in the 2006 Baja 1000 and Baja 500 desert races.
"Team Dakar USA's main objective will be to prove to the world that American innovation and determination can compete on the world stage," said Gordon. "We started planning for this just after my first Dakar Rally, where we won two stages, and I know we are prepared and ready to take on the world."
According to Susan Docherty, HUMMER general manager, HUMMER jumped at the chance to partner with Gordon in this international race. "This summer we took the first step in making HUMMER a true global brand, with the sale of the first H3's in Europe," said Docherty. "This international event will give us a wonderful stage to show people around the world that the H3 is an exceptional off-road vehicle and one they should consider buying."
Gordon's H3 will consist of an H3 body paired with a specially developed chassis featuring a suspension designed by him and his Off-Road team. The H3 will be a tube-chassis vehicle similar to Trophy Trucks races in the famed Baja 1000, except that it will have a fully enclosed air-conditioned cockpit, including windshield and side windows. It will be powered by a production-based General Motors V8 engine.
The 16-stage Dakar race covers more than 6,000 miles (nearly 10,000 km) in just over two weeks. While the event is gaining popularity in the United States, it has a broad following around the globe. The 2006 Dakar begins on December 31 in Lisbon, Portugal and runs through Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, and Guinea before finishing in the capital city of Dakar, in Senegal. The race covers all types of terrain, from mountains to sea level and farmland to desert. Competitors can encounter snow and sub-zero temperatures as well as sandstorms and searing heat in the desert. More information on the Dakar race is available at www.teamdakarusa.com.
Robby Gordon was named by Off-Road retailer magazine in 2004 as one of the five most influential people in the off-road industry. He has successfully owned and operated teams in the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series, CART, IRL and SCORE.
HUMMER is a division of General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, which employs about 325,000 people globally The HUMMER product line-up consists of three models, the H1, based on the military HUMVEE, the H2 and the H3. The H2 SUV went on sale in July 2002 and the new H2 SUT was first available in the summer of 2004. The all-new midsize H3 began arriving in dealer showrooms in May 2005. Information on HUMMER products is available at www.hummer.com.
Robby Gordon Motorsports is based in Huntersville, N.C., and owned by Gordon. In addition to its Dakar effort, the team focuses its attention on competing in America's biggest racing series - the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. The team has run numerous seasons in various racing series, including CART, the Score International Off-Road Series, the NASCAR Busch Series, the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and several one-off efforts in the famed Indianapolis 500, with Gordon enjoying success at every level of his storied career as an owner and driver. He prides himself on his meticulous nature, which includes building cars, trucks and other racing machines that are among the best in their respective disciplines. For more information visit www.robbygordon.com.