After a much needed rest day on Saturday, Team HUMMER returned to face the unforgiving Atacama in Stage 8 of the Dakar Rally. The competitors covered 568 km as they traveled from Antofagasta to Copiapo. To start the day, the drivers had to navigate their way through extremely rocky
terrain where the slightest mistake can cost the most experienced competitor precious minutes. As the stage progressed, the pace quickened as the drivers covered approximately 300 km of winding, fast tracks leading to the frequent dune zones above Copiapo. After conquering the dunes, competitors raced through the final 90 km, which was composed completely of sand.
Robby Gordon and the No. 302 Monster Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER started the day in 24th position, but quickly moved his way towards the front. By the half way mark of the stage, he was in the second position looking for another possible stage win. Then unfortunate circumstances would once again alter the outcome for Robby Gordon in his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER. Gordon recovered as quickly as possible to finish the stage in tenth place, 37 minutes down to the stage winner. Gordon remains tenth in the overall standings, roughly five hours behind leader Carlos Sainz.
'"We finished the stage in tenth place, which is the disappointing part of the day. It is frustrating because we know that we have a race car that is capable of finishing good each and every stage; we raced our way from 24th to 2nd. We just need everything to go good so that we can get the finishes that we deserve. Looking at the bright side of things, we'll be getting a better starting position tomorrow. We will be starting 10th, which is about 2 minutes a car so it should be good for us," Robby Gordon commented about his day hoping for a better outcome during stage 9.
The driver of the Vanguard HUMMER would soon follow Robby Gordon across the finish line, coming in 13th place.
The team will regroup tonight and hope to have a strong showing tomorrow. Stage 9 will take the team from Copiapo to La Serena with the special stage starting at 8:50 am local time. Robby Gordon in his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER will start at 9:08 am.