Charlotte, NC (December 21, 2010) – 2011 marks the 33rd running of the international test of endurance and determination known as the Dakar Rally, which for the third consecutive year will take place in the South American countries of Argentina and Chile after security threats in Mauritania in 2008 caused the ASO, the race organizers, to move the race from Africa. With more than 9,500 km (5,903 miles) to be completed from January 1st to 16th, 2011, the Dakar Rally is easily the “world’s most grueling race.”
Based on fourteen stages, known as “specials”, the winner of the rally is the team with the shortest elapsed time over the fifteen day event. The terrain that competitors traverse is extremely difficult. Most of the competitive specials are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks among other elements. To be successful at the Dakar Rally, a team must possess three things: state of the art equipment, first rate driving and navigational skills, and true determination and perseverance. The slightest mistake by man or equipment can cost a team valuable seconds in their effort to achieve the ultimate objective: winning the Dakar Rally.
Team HUMMER will be fielding two entries in the rally-raid. Known as one of the best off-road racers in the world, Robby Gordon will be participating in his seventh Dakar Rally and piloting the No. 303 Speed Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER. Gordon will depend on his navigator, Kellon Walsh, to maneuver through the ever changing terrain of the cross country race. Gordon knows how to win in the rally, becoming the first American to ever win a stage. “To win a stage of the event was great, but to be the first American to win the Dakar Rally would mean so much more,” says Gordon. “With experience also comes the understanding that you have to beat the rally before you can beat your competitors.”
A formal announcement regarding the second HUMMER entry will follow early next week.
To aid in their effort to challenge the Dakar Rally and factory teams, Team HUMMER will be touting a new sponsor, SPEED Energy Drink. “This company is based on a commitment to SPEED, energy and relentless determination. No one personifies those values better than Robby Gordon and no race encompasses those qualities more than the Dakar Rally, which makes partnering with Team HUMMER a perfect fit for our new SPEED Energy brand,” commented SPEED Energy representative, Steve Nichols. “We’re excited to have SPEED Energy Drink on our HUMMER’s for the rally this year. SPEED is a new company that is gaining a lot of attention in the U.S., and I’m looking forward to introducing it to the international market as part of our team’s branding exercise. In addition to representing SPEED Energy, I will also be representing our long list of elite partners. We just signed a three-year extension with Toyo Tires, and I couldn’t be happier to have them as a co-primary for this event,” says Gordon. About SPEED Energy – SPEED Energy is available in three flavors: Unleaded, Fuel, 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 12 ounce sleek 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 speedenergy.com.
Race Coverage– For fans tracking the Dakar Rally at home, please visit speedenergy.com, planetrobby.com, dakar.com along with Facebook and Twitter for daily updates on the team’s performance including a daily recap, photos and videos. The team will also be doing a preview daily leading up to the Rally that details their Dakar program and what it takes to get the team ready to participate in the 14-stage event. The Versus Channel will provide coverage throughout the United States. A 30-minute daily program featuring highlights from that day’s racing will be aired on Versus daily at 3:30 p.m. with a replay airing later in the day. Check your local listing for exact show times.