Team Dakar USA Stage 9 Update: La Serena to Copiapo Copiapo, Chile (January 12, 2009) -- Stage 9 was another true test for the Dakar Rally competitors, travelling through numerous terrain changes to reach the finish line in Copiapo. Due to the...
Team Dakar USA Stage 9 Update: La Serena to Copiapo
Copiapo, Chile (January 12, 2009) -- Stage 9 was another true test for the Dakar Rally competitors, travelling through numerous terrain changes to reach the finish line in Copiapo. Due to the difficulty of the soft sand landscape at the end of today's stage, the A.S.O. decided to once again shorten the stage by 20 kilometers, ending at the 430-km mark to prevent the competition from getting stuck in the giant sand trap.
After yesterday's stage, a total of 329 teams started stage 9 of the Dakar Rally, including 151 bikes and quads, 116 cars and 62 trucks. Both Team Dakar USA Hummer entries are among the enduring contenders. The No. 309 Monster Energy Toyo Tires Hummer is still fifth overall, while the No. 324 Vanguard Hummer is continuing his fight for a top-20 overall finish.
"Today was a great day for the Monster Energy Hummer as well as the Vanguard Hummer. Unfortunately, the No. 309 Hummer got stuck in a river bed. We lost about nine minutes trying to escape, but only ended up losing today's stage by two minutes to [Carlos] Sainz. Had we not had this problem, I am confident that we would have won today's stage, especially after some of the other leaders experienced some problems. I think Mark Miller broke a wheel and Giniel de Villiers got lost. If they continue to have problems, we have a good chance to win this thing," exclaimed Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 309 Monster Energy Toyo Tires Hummer. "Eric also had a good day finishing 17th considering all the work that was done to the Vanguard Hummer last night after he rolled during yesterday's special. The Team Dakar USA members did an excellent job prepping both Hummers for today's special, and I can't say enough about them," continued Gordon.
Stage 10's chase around Copiapo will be the longest, most difficult stage of the Dakar Rally. Tune into robbygordon.com and the Versus (VS) network for daily Dakar highlights. Also, visit www.toyo.com for Ramses' Dakar Rally journal.