SAN SALVADOR DE JUJUY, Argentina (January 5, 2016) – Team SPEED drivers Robby Gordon and Sheldon Creed successfully rebounded from Stage 2 struggles in the 38th Annual Dakar Rally to finish the weather shortened Stage 3 from Termas De Rio Hondo to San Salvador De Jujuy respectively in the 16th and 25th positions.
Robby Gordon, starting 24th after a troublesome second stage, which involved getting stuck in the mud and loosing 15 minutes to the leaders, would manage to drive aggressively and overtake 8 cars in Tuesday’s weather shortened 200 km (124.3 mi) special, which presented slick course conditions and difficult visibility for a second day.
Gordon’s finishing time of 2 hours, 19 minutes and 7 seconds cut valuable time off his deficit to the leaders, and would give Gordon a much better starting position in Wednesday’s loop stage.
Team SPEED teammate Sheldon Creed after being accessed a 3-minute penalty after Monday’s Stage 2, Creed would start in the 37th position on Tuesday.
Showing the world why he is the 2015 Stadium SUPER Trucks champion and X-Games Gold Medalist, Creed did not let his age and lack of rally experience get in his way advancing twelve positions to finish with a time of 2 hours 24 minutes, 20 seconds, just 14 minutes, and 41 seconds behind the leader.
France’s Sebastien Loeb would win the stage in a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 39 seconds. Spain’s Carlos Sainz followed at 2 hours, 11 minutes , 2 seconds while defending Dakar Champion Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar ran the stage in 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 4 seconds to finish third. Giniel de Villiers of South Africa finished fourth with a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes, 41 seconds, while Mikko Hirvonen of Finland finish fifth in 2 hours, 12 minutes, and 28 seconds.
After two stages Loeb holds the overall lead over de Villiers by 5 minutes, and 3 seconds. Followed by France’s Stephan Peterhansel in third 5 minutes, and 5 seconds back. Hirvonen holds the fourth position 5 minutes, 52 seconds behind, while Al-Attiyah rounds out the top five 6 minutes, and 39 seconds back. Robby Gordon sits in the seventeenth overall position 27 minutes, and 25 seconds behind, with teammate Sheldon Creed holds the twenty-ninth position 53 minutes, 40 seconds behind leader Loeb.
Wednesday’s fourth stage (629 km/391 mi, with a 429 km/ 266 mi special) will take drivers around a loop beginning in San Salvador De Jujuy, and traveling well into the Andes Mountains reaching elevations of 3,500 meters (11,483 feet). This will be a challenge not only the drivers, but the cars as well. The high altitude mixed with the summer temperatures of the southern hemisphere, and the incessant changes in pace resulting from alternating sandy and rocky terrain will have exhausted drivers and cars itching to return back to the San Salvador De Jujuy bivouac for the night.
Follow the quest for an American podium finish in the 2016 Dakar Rally for Team SPEED through live timing and scoring as well as live updates with chat at http://www.planetrobby.com and http://www.StadiumSuperTrucks.com
NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will provide daily highlights after each stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally at 5:30 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for exact time and channel for availability.
Photos from Stage 3 can be downloaded from the following link:
Team SPEED is supported by the following partners; SPEED Energy, Toyo Tires, TRAXXAS, KMC Wheels, Arctic Cat, 4 Wheel Parts, Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, King Shocks, Outlaw LED, Mastercraft Safety, Holley Performance, Embee Performance, MAC Tools, DeWALT, Freightliner Trucks, Replay XD, Valvoline, Impact by Mastercraft Safety, Lincoln Electric, Torchmate by Lincoln Electric, Ron Davis Racing Products, Techni Waterjet, Mechanix Wear, Saftey-Kleen, Weddle Industries, and Loctite.
Stage 4: San Salvador De Jujuy – San Salvador De Jujuy
Special Sections: 429 km
Total: 629 km
On many levels, the competitors face their first real test. The special section takes place at an average of 3,500m altitude, with incessant changes in pace resulting from alternating sandy and rocky terrain. This grueling route will be on the agenda when everyone already has 2,500 km in the saddle or bucket seat, which is already exhausting for the lower placed drivers. First and foremost, this is the start of a very particular marathon stage, with a closed area for the vehicles…and for the competitors.