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Dakar 2009: The Hummer are back - Team Dakar USA Overview.

Team Dakar USA, an off-road racing group established to operate Robby Gordon’s Dakar efforts, is in Buenos Aires Argentina to challenge the world’s most demanding sixteen day off-road race. Team Dakar USA’s objectives are to win the rally, highlight American innovation, determination and pride. The upcoming 2009 Dakar Rally will mark Gordon’s fourth attempt at winning the world renowned, race event that covers over 6,000 miles (10000km) of punishing off road terrain.

In preparation for the rally, Gordon’s crew spent countless hours prepping the two Hummer H3 race vehicles and support vehicles. Team Dakar USA’s support vehicles consist of a Mercedes Benz 6X6, Mercedes 4X4, MAN 4X4 race truck and two Hummer H1’s. One Hummer will act as an assistance vehicle while a second Hummer H1 will focus in media relations. A third race vehicle will enter in the truck class to aid Gordon and Vigoroux in case of any assistance needed. The MAN race truck is driven by "Turbo" Tom Gevis, it has the vitals to repair the vehicles on the course.

Team Dakar USA has twenty four dedicated individuals that form the roster. Most of the team members are familiar faces in off-road motorsports. They have endured years of racing experience in Dakar, Baja, and Central Europe. In the Dakar Rally that can be the determining factor between winning or even finishing a rally like this. An exciting addition to the 2009 Team is driver Eric Vigoroux and his co pilot Alexandre Winocq. "We are excited to have Eric and Alex on our team, Eric is fast and has finished Dakar Rally’s before. His experience will be an added asset to our team" said Robby Gordon.

Robby Gordon, will make his fifth appearance in the Dakar Rally in 2009. A three-time Dakar stage winner, two time Central Europe Rally Special winner is 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 is attempting to be the first American to win the overall victory of the coveted Dakar Rally.

Gordon began Team Dakar USA in 2006 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 owner with factory support from Hummer. 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. After the cancellation of the 2008 edition of the Dakar Rally, the ASO presented the distraught teams a make up race called the Central Europe Rally. Gordon’s team has built momentum coming into the 2009 Dakar Rally. Team Dakar USA finished seventh overall with BJ Baldwin driving the Vanguard Hummer and himself finished tenth over all in the Monster Hummer.

2009/01/01 | 21:21 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Ramses Perez

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