|SA-Dakar Rally: Great Day for Robby Gordon - end of the rally for Al Attiyah.|
Robby Gordon and his Hummer Proto dominated Stage 9 of the 2012 Dakar Rally, winning by 1:38 minutes over Stephane Peterhansel in his X-raid Mini. Gordon, with the help of his navigator Johnny Campbell, lead the entire stage with three Mini breathing down their necks.
Unfortunately, Nasser Al-Attiyah's day would end completely different. Al-Attiyah encountered the same issue tuesday as he did monday when a serpentine belt popped off, not once but three times.
Using all of his spares, Al-Attiyah was stranded near KM 200 of the 556 km stage. Being more than an hour down to the overall leader, Al-Attiyah made the tough decision to end his efforts for a repeat championship and dropped out of the stage.
For Gordon and Campbell, the race to become the first Americans to win Dakar lives on. Winning Stage 9 win marks Gordon's 5th special stage victory during a Dakar Rally. Gordon is now only 5:58 minutes behind overall leader Stephane Peterhansel with only five stages remaining.
Late after his stage win Gordon commented on how his team have prepared a winning car, "These guys just didn't go to sleep after last years disappointment - they went to work. My guys have flat killed it. They have worked really hard and it's a tough battle."
"I'm lucky to have a great, great group of guys that are dedicated from the heart - they bleed orange and we're going to have some fun trying to win this rally. I'm sad to see Nasser go but if he doesn't want to drive the car then so be it. It just gives me more support more equipment and three more mechanics to go after this thing."
2012/01/11 | 13:33 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/MCCABE