Team Dakar USA stage 14 report

Team Dakar USA Stage 14 Update: Cordoba to Buenos Aires Buenos Aires, Argentina (January 17, 2009) -- The 31st Dakar Rally concluded today, and Team Dakar USA's dual effort throughout the 13-stage race was truly spectacular. Even though neither...

Team Dakar USA Stage 14 Update: Cordoba to Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina (January 17, 2009) -- The 31st Dakar Rally concluded today, and Team Dakar USA's dual effort throughout the 13-stage race was truly spectacular. Even though neither the No. 309 Monster Energy Toyo Tires Hummer nor the No. 324 Vanguard Hummer won the Dakar Rally, having both race vehicles finish inside the top-15 in the world's most grueling race is a victory in itself.

After winning today's 227-km stage, Giniel De Villiers also went on to win his first ever Dakar Rally title, while Mark Miller, a fellow American competitor, finished second. Team Dakar USA's Robby Gordon pulled off an impressive third place finish, trailing by only 1 hour, 46 minutes. The finish was good enough to earn him a podium finish and his highest in his five Dakar Rally attempts. Also notable was the performance of Gordon's teammate, Eric Vigouroux, who had a remarkable 13th-place overall finish.

"Team Dakar USA did what we had to do today -- we raced conservative enough to preserve our overall position at the end. All we needed to do today was run a smart, cautious race and cross the finish line at the end. I think that I ended up 23rd, and Eric was 37th, which ensured that both race vehicles finished safely inside the top-15," commented Robby Gordon on today's 227-km stage from Cordoba to Buenos Aires.

"We may not be the overall winner in this year's Dakar Rally, but I can tell you that we are our own winners. What we did here this year is really amazing. Not only is this my highest finish in a Dakar Rally, but Eric Vigouroux finished 13th in a Hummer that he had virtually no seat time in before the race commenced. This is a testament to the Team Dakar USA program; the more we race the better we get," exclaimed Gordon on Team Dakar USA's performance in the 31st-annual Dakar Rally.

"I want to thank all our sponsors, our partners, and everyone that helped in the success of this year's Rally. We couldn't have done it alone, so I want you each to know how much we appreciate everything. We are already starting to plan for next year's Dakar Rally while this year's is fresh in our minds. The rumor is that we may be back in Argentina, so I feel confident that we can come back and win next year," concluded Gordon on his appreciation for everyone's support of this year's race.

"I just want to thank the Team Dakar USA partners, sponsors, and fans. It has been an incredible experience being part of this team and something that I will never forget. Finishing 13th is an incredible feat, and I just want everyone to know how much this has meant to me," commented Eric Vigouroux, driver of the No. 324 Vanguard Hummer.

Stay tuned to robbygordon.com for highlights of this year's Dakar Rally.

-credit: teamgordon.com

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Mark Miller