Robby Gordon is finally set to make his return to the Dakar Rally in the opening stage, after a frustrating delay in getting his car through scrutineering due to a late delivery of his newly built Team Speed Textron UTV and support equipment from the U.S.
“I didn’t get my car until yesterday in the morning, and then we didn’t get the truck until late last night. Problems with shipping because we don’t come on the ASO (organizer) boat,” Gordon told the official Dakar website. “The boat sat in the port for eight days and didn’t come to dock. That was a bummer.
“It’s good to be back in the Dakar. I’ve been busy building the manufacturer car, and that’s taken a lot of our time, and we didn’t really have the time to be able to do it. But now the car is out. we’ve released it to the general public, and we’re able to come here and bring a car and compete against the car category with our new car that is sold to the general public, which is very cool.
The American off-road, NASCAR and IndyCar veteran, back in the Dakar this year after a three-year absence, feels ready to take the fight to the favored Mini and Toyota runners despite the small build of his Textron.
“The crazy thing, if you look at [the car], it’s no smaller than the Mini,” Gordon noted. “It’s actually quite bigger than the Mini. It’s the future of motorsports, with the off-road industry… being able to purchase cars and go race them.
“We think we’re OK, but to be honest I won’t know until tomorrow. [Tomorrow] is only 50 miles, 88k, but it’ll at least give us an idea of how we stack up against the competition. Everything could be possible — we could be in really good shape.”