The Dakar Rally set on January 5, 2014 in Rosario, Argentina will be Robby Gordon’s 10th try to win the overall title at the event, considered as the most extreme and demanding race in the world. Gordon first attempted to become the first American to win the Dakar Rally in 2005. That year, he became the first American to win a stage in the race.
Since then, Gordon has grabbed nine stage victories, but has yet to win the overall crown. No American has won the Dakar Rally since its inception in 1979. France so far has grabbed 19 Dakar Rally overall wins, followed by Finland and Japan, with five and three overall victories respectively. Germany has two overall wins, while South Africa, Belgium, Qatar, Spain and Sweden each has one crowns.
For this year’s event, 149 racers from around the world will compete for the overall crown, but Gordon is unfazed. “I feel more prepared than in any of our previous trips to the Dakar Rally,” Gordon remarked, adding that since becoming the first American to win a stage, his focus is now on winning the overall title this year, backed by a new car.
For this year’s Dakar Rally, Gordon is introducing a brand-new race car, which he considers as the lightest and most technologically advanced machine he has ever built. The car was built in North Carolina and is a result of design and experience that have allowed Gordon to achieve three Baja 1000 victories, four Baja 500 victories and seven Score-International Off-Road Championships.
“Since our first trip to Dakar with our own car in 2006 (Gordon drove for Volkswagen in 2005), Toyo Tires has been there with me. In last year’s Rally we had no tire failures in the entire race – truly amazing. With that same kind of performance and the fact that we have had the fastest car for several years, we will just need to eliminate mistakes to try to capture the overall title in the world’s toughest race.” [source: SPEED Energy]