Unfortunate circumstances plagued Team HUMMER this afternoon in the dune sections of Stage 3. The team had first thought that the these set of dunes would be a good stage for the HUMMERs but due to a smaller restrictor cutting the horsepower down, the HUMMERs couldn't carry the momentum
needed to get through the heavy sand that was featured during Stage 3. Robby Gordon said his HUMMER won't run the dunes in 2nd gear and for that reason he got stuck and lost valuable time to the leaders. Robby Gordon talked about his performance during Stage 3, "I feel we are at a major disadvantage when it comes to restrictors. My top speed is about 165mph and the Volkswagens' are going 190mph. Plus my Monster Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER needs to carry extra weight because of the fuel mileage we get. The sand dunes in this stage needed the car to have forward momentum to get through them. I would run up and try to come down and get stuck. For tomorrow we'll move on and drive again."
Robby Gordon would end up in 12th place in his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER for the stage and now 1 hour and 4 minutes down to the overall leader in 9th place. That's not the only disappointment of the day. Around kilometer 57 the Vanguard HUMMER had a transmission failure and was forced to be towed in along with Carlo De Gavardo having clutch problems 10 kilometers before the Vanguard HUMMER had its issues. They were both able to make it to the bivouac after getting a tow from one of Team HUMMERs' support trucks.
All in all it's a day that the team would like to soon forget. They will regroup tonight in Fiambala and try to make the best of tomorrow's Stage 4. Stage 4 is set from Fiambala to Copiapo, a liaison for 394 kilometers and a special that will be 203 kilometers. Another 32 kilometer liaison back to the bivouac in total distance of 629 kilometers. The first car is set to leave the bivouac at 6:05 am with the special starting at 12:05 pm local time.
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.