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Dakar 2008: Robby Gordon selects Ronn Bailey to drive 2nd Hummer.

Team Dakar USA, the elite off-road racing group established to operate Gordon’s Dakar efforts, announced today the addition of Dakar veteran and off-road driver Ronn Bailey to its racing platform. The announcement was made at the Toyo Tires booth at the SEMA trade show, the premier automotive aftermarket industry event.

Bailey, who is CEO of Vanguard Integrity Professionals, an enterprise security software company, will participate in the next three Dakar Rally events as an integral part of Team Dakar USA and more importantly as Gordon’s esteemed teammate. Part of the reason that Bailey and Gordon joined together was their mutual belief to demonstrate Team Dakar USA’s All-American effort in the world’s most challenging international off-road race. Winning the race aside, Team Dakar USA’s main objectives will be to highlight American innovation, determination and international goodwill, which are each important to these CEOs.

The upcoming 2008 Dakar Rally will mark both driver’s fourth attempt at winning the world renowned, 16-day event that covers over 6,000 km (3,600 miles) of punishing African terrain. "Ronn drives fast, hard, and can handle the treacherous terrain and extreme conditions," Gordon stated. "Even after he flipped his car in last year’s Dakar Rally, he and his crew rebuilt it and drove to the next checkpoint. This is an attribute that speaks highly of him and his commitment to be the best," said Gordon, who finished eighth overall in the 2007 Dakar Rally earlier this year.

"It’s an exciting day for me and for Vanguard Integrity Professionals, which will also be a proud sponsor of Team Dakar USA for the next three years," explains Bailey. "It’s an honor to be driving for this team along side Robby Gordon who no one can question is one of the world’s top off-road racers. We will be racing against the largest off-road teams, more than 50 of the words best racers and a lot of great privateers and amateurs. While anything can happen in this race, I expect with our combined experience, resources and passion for the race; Robby will win first place overall and I will be on the podium in the top 20 or better."

The 30th Dakar Road Rally starts in Lisbon on January 5th and ends in Dakar, Senegal on January 20th, the 2008 Dakar promises to be longer and more punishing than in previous years to commemorate the 30th Dakar event, and has been extended by an additional 1,700 km. More than one million people are expected to line the routes as the racers head from Lisbon through Spain to Morocco, through Mauritania and into Senegal. In 2007, 245 motorcycles 180 cars and 85 trucks started the race, while only one-third finished.

About Ronn Bailey: Bailey is the founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Vanguard Integrity Professionals in Nevada. For more than three decades, Bailey has been a recognized leader in information security technology. Bailey has worked closely with governmental agencies and Fortune 1000 companies worldwide to solve security issues at the highest levels of business and government. In addition, Bailey is an inventor and holds several security related patents.

Bailey, 58, a gutsy adventure, having never raced before, decided his first off-road race should be the 2005 Dakar to help promote his business activities. He got lost in the Sahara desert for 3 days and nights. He has since done Dakar in 2006 and 2007, driving all the way to Dakar, Senegal, but the podium has eluded him each year. He successfully finished the 2005 Rallye Maroc race in Africa and has been a 1st through 3rd place finisher in every North American and Mexican race he has entered, save one, when his car was destroyed in a collision by another driver. Dakar 2008 will be Ronn’s 11th race.

About Robby Gordon and Team Dakar USA: Gordon, owner of Team Dakar USA, will make his fourth appearance in the Dakar Rally in 2008. A three-time Dakar stage winner and the only American to do so, Gordon has been competing in off-road endurance races since the early 1980's. Himself a three-time winner of the esteemed Baja 1000 along with numerous other victories within North American borders, Gordon, along with his teammate, Ronn Bailey, will attempt to be the first Americans to get the overall win in the race's history.

Gordon began Team Dakar USA in 2005 in an effort to showcase American ingenuity and technology in one of the world’s most popular sporting events. Although participating in the 2005 Dakar Rally for Volkswagen, the 2006 Dakar Rally was Gordon’s first attempt as an independent owner. During that race, Gordon was forced to make an early exit from competition during the seventh stage due to a punctured radiator, which sidelined the team for the remainder of the event. In the 2007 Dakar Rally, Gordon and his team became the first Americans to win a stage in the Dakar Rally. While Gordon claimed his third stage win in his third Dakar attempt, he also captured the Open Category honors with his eighth place finish overall.

2007/11/13 | 13:12 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Robby Gordon

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