Team Dakar USA Stage 13 Update: La Rioja to Cordoba Cordoba, Argentina (January 16, 2009) -- The stage 13 route was changed today due to heavy rain that made many areas along the course impassable through the La Rioja and Cordoba regions. The...
Team Dakar USA Stage 13 Update: La Rioja to Cordoba
Cordoba, Argentina (January 16, 2009) -- The stage 13 route was changed today due to heavy rain that made many areas along the course impassable through the La Rioja and Cordoba regions. The 13th stage began at CP4, but only consisted of 220 km rather than the scheduled 545 km.
Around kilometer four, Robby Gordon passed Giniel De Villiers and Mark Miller for the race lead. However, he was not able to maintain this position for very long. Early in the stage, the No. 309 Monster Energy Toyo Tires Hummer was forced to pull over due to a problem with the throttle. After thoroughly evaluating the issue, Gordon found that a small rock was the culprit of the hanging throttle. Even after being down for 20 minutes, he was able to salvage a 16th-place finish, ending the stage only 22 minutes, 49 seconds behind Nani Roma. The Monster Energy Hummer still sits third in the overall standings, only 1 hour, 27 minutes behind De Villiers.
Eric Vigouroux had a flawless day, piloting his No. 324 Vanguard Hummer to a sixth place finish. When the stage concluded, he was only 13 minutes, 53 seconds behind. This moved Vigouroux to 14th overall, an impressive feat.
"Obviously, I wish that the No. 309 Monster Energy Toyo Tires Hummer would have had a better outcome today. Regardless of a pesky little rock getting in our way, I am still happy with where we stand going into the last stage tomorrow. Even though we haven't won any specials yet this year, we are still here competing for the Dakar Rally title and that is what that matters. This race is about survival and preparation, and Team Dakar USA has excelled at both. We have been able to address the problems, fix them, and continue forward. Both cars are still in the race, and I couldn't be more proud of the Team Dakar USA program," commented Robby Gordon.
"The No. 324 Vanguard Hummer had a great day. I want to congratulate Eric [Vigouroux] on his top-10 finish today. He did what we needed him to do today, and I am proud that he is my teammate. I am even more proud that the Vanguard Hummer is in the top-15. It speaks volumes to the program that we have in place," commented Robby Gordon on the performance of the No. 324 Vanguard Hummer.
The Dakar Rally will add another chapter to the record books tomorrow when it comes to an end. The final stage will be a 227-km special from Cordoba to Buenos Aires. Robby Gordon and Team Dakar USA look to make history tomorrow, hoping that both Hummers finish inside the top-15 and securing Gordon's highest finish in his five Dakar Rally attempts.