ROBBY GORDON AND TOYO TIRES SET TO TACKLE  THE 35TH ANNUAL DAKAR RALLYCharlotte, N.C. (December 4, 2012) – With no desert too large and no mountain too tall, the SPEED Energy HUMMER on victory proven Toyo Tires will once again attempt to conquer the world’s most famous off-road event. The custom-built Dakar HUMMER driven by Robby Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch will tackle more than 8000 Km / 4970 Mi from Peru through Argentina and ending in Santiago, Chile making it the ultimate off-road adventure; the 35th Annual Dakar Rally.

Registration discussions between A.S.O and Team Gordon began back in the early summer months in preparation for the 2013 Dakar Rally, and on December 2 registration for the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER became official. The A.S.O and the team agreed on a pre-check inspection of the Dakar HUMMER prior to being approved to race. Once the detailed inspection of the Dakar HUMMER and its air-inflation system by A.S.O. officials, the team was approved to officially race the 2013 Dakar Rally.

“I am excited to go back to race the prestigious Dakar Rally and show the world that we are ready to give it our best shot once again at an overall victory. Obviously our cars are good enough to compete for the win. Last year we had the fastest cars at the rally and led the most check points with the fastest times, with five wins as a team, two wins with the second HUMMER (which was also approved and is available to compete) and three wins for myself. It is now time for us to go back and capitalize on what we developed and worked on over the last seven years to put ourselves in position to compete for the overall win. “

For the first time in its history, the Dakar Rally will begin in Lima, Peru, sending upwards of 460 vehicles from 53 countries on a two-week, 14-stage endurance race through 3 Western South American countries, ultimately finishing in the Chilean capitalof Santiago. This year’s Dakar will begin on January 5 and will travel on a new course featuring sections not seen to racing since the moving of the Dakar to South America in 2009, marking the most difficult course to date.

Gordon will be joined in the cockpit by his navigator, Kellon Walch, who served as team navigator for B.J. Baldwin in 2010 and for Gordon in 2011. Walch looks to bring back the experience and chemistry gained as the team’s navigator in previous rally races along with the focus and drive needed to guide the vehicle through the challenging navigation obstacles that Gordon will face.

The various aspects of Peru’s natural features will put a real test to the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI Dakar HUMMER in the early stages of the rally as Gordon will face gigantic dunes and rugged terrain requiring precise focus and skill to gain an early advantage. Entering Chile will set the stage for a fast pace duel through the desert before crossing the Andes Mountains into Argentina where record altitude and temperature will become a crucial factor for driver and navigator.

After a much needed day of rest on the eighth day, the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires team will set out for the longest and most technical stage of the Rally navigating through the narrow twists and turns of the forest. The rapid assistance vehicles will not have access to this stage, requiring precise driving to be a must. Entering Chile for the final stages of the Rally will once again bring dunes into the equation, testing the driver’s fatigue and equipment to the finish in Santiago.

Once reaching the Chilean capital, the small percent of the drivers who finish the 2013 Dakar Rally will partake in a short show course offering spectators and fans the chance to cheer on the new heroes who have successfully conquered the 2013 Dakar Rally. The following day the accomplishment of each of the drivers will be recognized with an elaborate ceremony planned on the Plaza de la Constituciόn.

To follow Gordon and the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires team as they try to rise above the competition at the legendary Dakar Rally, log onto www.speedenergy.com andwww.toyotires.com for race team updates. Fans can also participate in the Dakar Rally experience by connecting on http://www.planetrobby.com and follow along with the team on Facebook and Twitter at: www.facebook.com/thespeedenergydrink, andwww.facebook.com/toyotires, http://twitter.com/SPEED_ENERGYhttp://twitter.com/ToyoTires.

 

Daily highlights from each stage can be viewed on the NBC Sports Network (DIRECTV Channel 220 / Dish Network Channel 159 / AT&T U-Verse Channel 1640 / Verizon FiOS Channel 590) January 5th – the 20th. Please check your local listings for times & schedules on the NBC Sports Network.

 

About SPEED Energy – SPEED Energy is available in four flavors: Unleaded, Fuel, Ethanol and Octane, which provides the human machine with the fuel it needs to keep up with the SPEED of life. Each drink contains a potent energy blend of B-vitamins, caffeine, taurine and ginseng. SPEED is packaged in 16 ounce cans that have a stylish black top and sexy body and are available in singles, four-packs, and cases. SPEED Energy is available in the United States in major retailers, convenience stores, grocery stores, bars and nightclubs.

For more information, please visit www.speedenergy.com or connect with SPEED Energy on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/thespeedenergydrink and by following on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SPEED_ENERGY.

About Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. – Toyo Tires manufactures and distributes a complete line of premium replacement tires for nearly every make and model including high performance cars, luxury vehicles, light trucks and SUVs as well as tires for commercial trucks.

For more information log onto www.toyotires.com and connect with the community on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ToyoTires and follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ToyoTires.

About MAPEI – MAPEI Group, with 67 subsidiaries including 58 plants in 27 countries, is today the world leader in the manufacturing of adhesives and complementary products for the installation of all types of floor and wall coverings. The company also specializes in manufacturing other chemical products for building, including waterproofing products, special mortars and admixtures for concrete, products for the restoration of ancient buildings, and special decorative and protective coatings for walls.

Eighteen MAPEI manufacturing facilities are located in the Americas, with headquarters in Deerfield Beach, Florida. MAPEI is an environmentally conscious manufacturer – the company has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2001 and a member of the Canadian Green Building Council since 2008. MAPEI Americas is a registered provider to the AIA/CES program and also offers training related to ceramic and stone tile, floor coverings and concrete repair through the MAPEI Technical Institute. The Quality Management Systems of the majority of MAPEI Americas facilities are ISO 9001 certified. Visitwww.mapei.com for technical data or call 1-800-42-MAPEI (1-800-426-2734) for the nearest location.

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