Gordon wins stage, cuts down deficit

Robby Gordon continues to challenge for the 2012 Dakar Rally

title.

On Tuesday, Gordon and his Speed Energy/Toyo Tires Hummer team

dominated Stage 9, winning by 1 minute, 38 seconds over overall

leader Stephane Peterhansel.

Gordon led the entire stage and cut his deficit on the leader to

5 minutes and 58 seconds with five stages remaining.

Gordon and navigator Johnny Campbell continue their quest to

become the first Americans to win Dakar.

“My guys have flat killed it,” Gordon said. “They have worked

really hard and it’s a tough battle. I’m lucky to have a great,

great group of guys that are dedicated from the heart – they bleed

orange and we’re going to have some fun trying to win this rally.

I’m sad to see Nasser go but if he doesn’t want to drive the car

then so be it. It just gives me more support more equipment and

three more mechanics to go after this thing.”

Stage 10 takes the competitors from Iquique, Chile, to

Arica.

Gordon’s teammate, Nasser Al-Attiyah, did not fare as well

Tuesday. For the second consecutive day, his serpentine belt popped

off, not once but three times. After using all of his spares,

Al-Attiyah was stranded near kilometer 200 of the 556 km stage.

Being more than an hour down to the overall leader, Al-Attiyah has

opted to end his efforts for a repeat championship and dropped out

of the stage.