Team Dakar USA Stage 10 Update: The Copiapo Loop Copiapo, Chile (January 13, 2009) -- Stage 10 was delayed by several hours due to a strong fog inhibiting the A.S.O.'s support and medic helicopters from taking off, jeopardizing the safety of ...
Team Dakar USA Stage 10 Update: The Copiapo Loop
Copiapo, Chile (January 13, 2009) -- Stage 10 was delayed by several hours due to a strong fog inhibiting the A.S.O.'s support and medic helicopters from taking off, jeopardizing the safety of competitors without these aircraft patrolling the route. Once the fog lifted, the loop around Copiapo began, but not before the sanctioning body shortened the stage by 200 kilometers due to low volumes of sand throughout the special. Today's special resulted in only a 476-km race around Copiapo.
It was an exceptionally good day the No. 309 Monster Energy Toyo Tires Hummer, which started the day from third once again. Robby Gordon was on the heels of the leader Carlos Sainz early in the stage and was finally able to take the lead after CP3. Powering his Hummer to the front, he passed CP4 1:33 minutes ahead of Sainz. He lost a few seconds heading into CP5 due to the terrain, veering his way through the camel grass. Sainz ended up driving to victory once again, but Gordon showed today that the No. 309 Monster Energy Toyo Tires Hummer is still a fierce competitor in the Dakar Rally. Ending today's stage second and only 0:21 seconds behind Sainz, the team is still fifth in the general standings and gained momentum on the leaders.
The No. 324 Vanguard Hummer also had another great run, finishing 10t just 1 hour, 21 minutes behind the winner.
"Today was another great showing for Team Dakar USA. The No. 309 Monster Energy Toyo Tires Hummer finished the day second, while the No. 324 Vanguard Hummer finished 10th. Andy Grider, my navigator, did a great job today leading the Monster Hummer around Copiapo loop. The car ran flawlessly and is in perfect shape, so there will only be the normal nightly maintenance performed," commented an excited Robby Gordon. "I really thought that we had a shot to win today's stage. Carlos Sainz started about four minutes in front of us today, so we did a good job catching and passing him. We would have won today had it not been for the camel grass at the end of the stage. He was better than us on this part of today's race and passed us for the stage win. I don't foresee any issues today as we prepare for the final days of competition. The Monster Energy Toyo Tires team is really close to overcoming fourth place. We may be able to have a podium finish after all," stated Gordon.