The custom-built Dakar HUMMER driven by Robby Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch tackled more than 4,970 miles (7,998 km) of exciting and adventurous terrain from Peru through Argentina and all the way to Santiago, Chile, in the ultimate off-road adventure – the 35th Annual Dakar Rally. MAPEI Corporation, a global manufacturer of adhesives, grouts and chemicals for the construction industry, was a name sponsor on Gordon’s HUMMER as he completed the grueling race.
Gordon completed the 2013 Dakar Rally 14th overall, battling more than 450 other competitors to capture eight podiums and two stage wins in the world's toughest off-road race. “We gave it our best shot once again at an overall victory,” Gordon said. “Obviously, our cars are good enough to compete for the win. I'm extremely proud of my team. We had zero mechanical issues and zero flats. I want to say thanks for all the support from MAPEI, 4 Wheel Parts, Traxxas and SPEED Energy.”
For the first time in its history, the Dakar Rally started in Lima, Peru, sending upwards of 460 vehicles from 53 countries on a two-week, 14-stage endurance race through three western South American countries, ultimately finishing in the Chilean capital of Santiago. This year’s Dakar Rally began on January 5 and travelled on a new course featuring sections not seen to racing since the moving of the Rally to South America in 2009, marking the most difficult course to date.
The various aspects of Peru’s natural features presented a real test for the SPEED Energy/ Toyo Tires/MAPEI Dakar HUMMER in the early stages of the rally as Gordon faced gigantic dunes and rugged terrain, requiring precise focus and skill to gain an early advantage. Entering Chile set the stage for a fast-paced duel through the desert before crossing the Andes Mountains into Argentina, where record altitude and temperature became a crucial factor for driver and navigator.
After a much-needed day of rest on the eighth day, the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires/MAPEI team set out for the longest and most technical stage of the Rally, navigating through the narrow twists and turns of the forest. The rapid-assistance vehicles did not have access to this stage, making precise driving a critical dynamic in the race. Entering Chile for the final stages of the Rally once again brought dunes into the equation, testing the driver’s fatigue and equipment to the finish in Santiago.
“We are excited to be associated with Robby Gordon and his attempt in the 35th Dakar Rally,” said Steven Day, Operational Marketing Manager for MAPEI Americas. “MAPEI is known for its innovative approach to developing new products for construction, and we think Robby shows this same intrepid spirit in his off-road racing.”