Team SPEED press release
Nasser on Podium; Gordon earns another Top 5
San Juan (January 3, 2012) - The third stage of the Dakar Rally opened with the No. 300 car of Nasser Al-Attiyah first off the line and the No. 303 car of Robby Gordon shortly behind him in the 3rd starting position, giving Team SPEED an opportunity to keep momentum on their side. This stage of the 2012 Dakar Rally went from San Rafael to the city of San Juan, located in a valley of mountains just southeast of the Andes. The stage featured a total of 499km that included a 208 km special stage section that ended at the bivouac in San Juan.
The stage featured terrain that was suitable for the HUMMERs once again and Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Lucas Cruz looked to capitalize on their top ranking performance nfrom the day before.
"Opening the stage for us was a bit tricky. Going through sections of the course that were very narrow and technical it was difficult to maneuver such a big car. We kept it at 70 percent to stay conservative until the last 20km. We then picked it up and were very fast. We looked to gain as much ground as we could from the time we lost at the first part of the stage." commented navigator Lucas Cruz. Lucas and Nasser would end up gaining ground in the last section to finish in the 3rd position, also gaining in the overall standings advancing to 6th, 6 minutes and 34 seconds back from overall leader.
Robby Gordon, in his SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HUMMER, was once again consistent and finished in the lead pack in 5th place, 2 minutes and 8 seconds behind.
Stephane Peterhansel, overall leader going into today's stage, had issues allowing Gordon to gain in the overall standings. Gordon will start the 4th stage of the rally only 54 seconds behind new leader, Holowczyc.
"Today was a good run. Both HUMMERs are running great and we did what we needed to do. I am being ultra conservative and making sure I finished the stage. We are now in the position to be leading the overall rally which can only boost moral and momentum heading into the heat of the rally." Gordon said having posted his 3rd top 5 finish in the first 3 stages of the 2012 Dakar Rally.
Team SPEED looks to keep the same game plan going into tomorrow as the 1st car leaves the line at 7:16am for Chilecito.