The 14-stage rally crossed the continent of South America, beginning and ending in Buenos Aires, Argentina this past weekend. Considered one of the hardest Dakar races to date, the course crossed through the mountains, sand dunes and rocks in the middle of the continent, then along the coast of Chile from Valparaiso to Atacama before returning into Argentina. The original route was 9,574 km (5,949 miles) long but the rally was shortened along the way due to poor weather.
Competing on 37X13.50R17 Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires, Gordon’s #309 Hummer H3 ran head-to-head in the sand dunes with the 4WD Volkswagen Touaregs which ultimately won the event. During Stage 13 of the race, Gordon momentarily led until a small rock lodged in the throttle linkage necessitating a repair costing valuable time.
Teammate Eric Vigouroux with navigator, Alexandre Winocq, piloted their #324 Vanguard/Toyo Tires Hummer H3 to 13th overall. This provided another great finish in this epic rally for Team Dakar USA.
He congratulate Robby Gordon, Andy Grider and all of Team Dakar USA on their remarkable third place finish overall,” said Steve Hutchinson, vice-president of marketing, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “This year’s course was especially demanding on the drivers and the vehicles. As a member of Team Dakar USA, Toyo Tires is committed to doing our part to help Gordon win overall next year.”
A chronology of the Dakar experience by Toyo Tires’ own Ramses Perez has been featured daily on the blog Ramses’ Rally Journal accessed by logging on to toyo.com.