The longest stage so far, and Robby Gordon had to baby the HUMMER to conserve fuel. A 589 Km special stage! Until you’ve driven a stage rally, you can’t begin to comprehend how tough this must be. Years ago, at the Tall Pines Rally, we ran a stage that was about 37 or so Km long. At the time, it was the longest stage in Canada and it was exhausting. I just can’t imagine a stage of almost 600 km. Continued strong finishes and Team Dakar USA has broken into the top ten.
Team Dakar USA press release after the break
With its 589 km special, stage eight proved to be the longest special yet in the 2007 Dakar Rally. It was the first special where the competitors faced the serious sand dunes of Mauritania and a day where Robby Gordon and his Monster Hummer felt at home. Gordon, a frequent visitor to the Glamis sand dunes in Southern California had high expectations for the day.
Gordon and navigator Andy Grider began the special in the 13th slot and at days end they managed to move up five positions for an eight place finish for the special. The Hummers time of 8:46:36 put the team 1:14:44 adrift of stage winner Gniel De Villiers of South Africa. The result vaulted the team up into the top ten in the overall classification. The first American team and car manufacture to win a stage in the Dakar Rally now finds themselves back 06:23:17 from the overall lead.
Robby GordonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Quotes following Stage eight
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have moved ourselves into the top ten which is a testament to how hard the team is working. The Monster Energy guys did a fantastic job of preparing the car for the eighth and ninth stages. Tonight we are without assistance in Tichit which meant we had to be easy on the Hummer. The team is making its way to Nema were weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll meet up tomorrow. TodayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stage was very difficult. The sand was fine and very soft Ã¢â‚¬â€œ much different from the coarser sand in Glamis. Everything ran well but had to be slightly conservative because we were stretching the fuel window and we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have any support tonight Ã¢â‚¬â€œ there really was no room for error. Now that we are in the top ten we are going to set ours sights on a top five finish. There is still quite a bit of racing and in this business you never know what is going to happen until the end.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Dakar Rally can be seen on the Versus Network in the United States. In addition Team Dakar USA has teamed up with Micron to provide daily video updates that can be seen on RobbyGordon.com. To see all the videos from the 2007 Dakar Rally visit youtube.com/rgm7