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BITD 2006: Gordon gives Toyo first victory in Trophy Trucks.

With nothing more than a spray down after returning from the 2006 Dakar rally, Robby Gordon loaded up his Hummer H3 and headed to the Best in the Desert Blue Water Resort & Casino Parker 425 in Parker, Ariz. All the spare parts for the H3 were still in transit from the West coast of Africa so Gordon elected to run the Hummer as a test session. The main purpose of the session was to mileage out the transmission and other systems on the race truck and see how long it would take for them to fail.

The narrow single-track course of the Parker 425 was very similar to that of the third stage of the Dakar - which is the first day on African soil in Morocco - and therefore was a good test for the H3 and its return to Dakar in 2007. "The plan for the race was very simple - basically gas and go. The H3 holds about 100 gallons of 87 octane fuel. We planned to run all day and not stop for anything."

Two days before the event the Best in the Desert off-road series held a time trial to determine the starting order. Gordon’s effort earned him the eighth starting spot. On race day, Gordon charged to finish fifth overall while scoring a victory in the Trophy Truck class. The first four finishers were all in buggies, which are lighter and quicker than the bigger Trophy Trucks. The event was won by Jon Herder in a buggy.

"It was a very good run for the Hummer. We gave Toyo their first victory in a Trophy Truck. The tires were awesome - we had no flats all day. The truck was still in Dakar mode which restricts the motor. The H3 has half the horsepower of the Red Bull Trophy Truck (which Gordon won the 2005 Baja 500 in). If we had qualified better I think we could have held off the buggies and won overall. It was a narrow and dusty single track all day. Being out front definitely would have helped."

Perhaps even more important than the win, was the fact that there were absolutely no issues with the performance of the Hummer H3 and at the end of the day Gordon drove to a local gas station, fueled up and drove the street legal truck home.

2006/02/13 I 14:15 CET I Editor:

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