TEAM HUMMER: BEHIND THE SCENES
Charlotte, NC (December 23, 2010) -- Behind every successful race team is a group of experienced, dedicated personnel. For this year's Dakar Rally, Team HUMMER consists of a twelve-person support team: one team manager, seven crew members, two engineers, and two media professionals. All are highly skilled and accomplished in the world of motorsports and off-road racing.
"Each year we continue to bring together a strong, cohesive group of individuals that are passionate about our racing program, which is a key ingredient to our success in the Dakar Rally. I feel that we have one of the strongest teams gathered this year, and I hope that everyone's hard work and dedication translates into a podium finish," commented Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 303 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires Hummer.
As the drivers and navigators of Team HUMMER leave the starting line to commence the 2011 Dakar Rally on January 1st, the support vehicles transporting the crew members are not far behind. While most people think that these guys are on vacation, little do they know that long days and even longer nights are what the crew has to look forward to on their attempt to win the infamous Dakar Rally.
By day, the team members travel from stage to stage in the custom-built Freightliner support vehicles. Though rough terrain and extreme conditions take a toll on the race vehicles, the Freightliners were purposefully built to provide the team with a comfortable ride. Comfort is a must during the 15-day event since most days the only time that the crew gets to sleep is during the trip to bivouacs.
At the end of each day, racers and their crews gather in the bivouacs to recap the day and plan the strategy for the next leg of the rally. The bivouacs are encampment style set ups that serve as pit area, lodging and meal quarters. Once the HUMMER race vehicles reach the bivouac, the crew goes to work on their daily assignments to "rebuild" them. Each individual has a list of tasks that must be marked off before they can even think of setting up their tent. Due to the extreme punishment that the HUMMERs face during each stage, the crew must work as quickly and efficiently as possible to perfect the race cars prior to the start of the next day's stage. They understand that they work all night that it is just part of what it takes to be a member of this elite team and have a chance at the coveted prize at the end -- the overall Dakar Rally win.
When asked to describe what the Dakar Rally is like from a crew member standpoint, three-time rally veteran, Randy Rodriguez, says, "The rally is an adventure. The route changes every year so what you saw last year you might not see again. Driving from town to town is a lot of fun. The native people in the small, rural towns we race through are so happy to see us...they run out in the streets and kiss the trucks. It is a pretty amazing experience in which I am honored to be a part."
For an off-road team member, the Dakar Rally is the ultimate experience. Being a part of the greatest test of man and machine is what they have aspired to in crafting their skills and expertise. The quest for multiple stage wins and a podium finish begins in their hands. Making up the 2011 Team HUMMER crew for the Dakar Rally are the following:
Name: Position: Experience:
Jamie Campbell Mechanic/Fabricator 1st year
Miles Stanley Engineer 1st year
Randy Rodriguez Support Vehicle Driver 3rd year
Ryan Wagoner Mechanic/Fabricator 2nd year
Johnny Miller Mechanic/Fabricator 3rd year
Daniel Boissy Mechanic/Fabricator 1st year
Daniel Denoncourt Mechanic/Fabricator 1st year
Roger Willis Support Vehicle Driver 5th year
Kevin Wilson Press 2nd year
Adrian Puente Press 1st year
James Lin Electrical Engineer 4th year
Kyle Robbins Team Manager 6th year
-source: team hummer