La Serena, Chile (January 11, 2010) – Stage 9 of the Dakar Rally presented another unique set of challenges for Team HUMMER on Monday as they travelled from Copiapo to La Serena. The start of today’s special was delayed due to dense fog setting in Copiapo over the last few days. Due to the delay, organizers for the Dakar Rally also shortened the route from 547 km to just a total of 354 km, with only 170 km timed. Stage 9 also marked the final day of competition in the Atacama Desert and allowed competitors one last chance to gain ground across the desert’s sand and dunes. By the time drivers reach La Serena, they will have conquered the most technically challenging portion of the rally’s course, but they will still need to complete five additional stages before returning to Buenos Aires for the successful completion of the 2010 Dakar Rally.
Yet another day of getting stuck in the sand would haunt Robby Gordon and his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER through the dunes of Copiapo. During the first few kilometers of the stage, Gordon would lose air pressure and get stuck in the dunes. Despite the issues, Gordon in his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER would survive and come in 10th place for the day. On a positive note, the duo of Gordon and Grider moved to ninth place overall.
“Today was a tough day, especially through the tricky dune sections and soft sand,” said Robby Gordon. “I got the Monster Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER stuck twice, but we survived with another top-10 finish. One thing that we learned during this Rally is that we can’t be stopped. Our competition never stops; this race is about endurance and how quickly you recover from obstacles that are thrown at you. I think that we have done a really good job getting back up when we get knocked down.”
The driver of the Vanguard HUMMER would get stuck late in the stage. It was a long day for the driver and navigator trying to get their HUMMER out of the grip of the soft sand. The Vanguard HUMMER would end up in 45th position, but ready to tackle another day tomorrow.
Race Coverage – For fans tracking the Dakar Rally at home, please visit robbygordon.com, planetrobby.com, and Robby Gordon’s twitter page for daily updates on the team’s performance including a daily recap, photos and videos. Versus will provide coverage throughout the United States. A 30-minute daily program featuring highlights from that day’s racing will be aired on Versus daily at 3:30 p.m. with a replay airing later in the day. The show is set to air daily from January 3rd through January 18th, check your local listing for exact show times. A 60-minute recap show featuring all fourteen stages will air on Versus on Sunday, January 24th at 3:00 p.m.