Sitting down to hopefully watch the previous evening’s taped
coverage, I thought Oh CRAP! Here we go again as the action started with “Cars” coverage instead of the usual Bikes first theme of the prior nine days... Dakar
But it soon became apparent why, as shockingly Car no. 303 was EXCLUDED from the
after following an intense re-scrutineering effort by Officials. And just who is No. 303 you may be asking? Whale it’s none other then that overly brash Californian Robby Gordon and his monster (2WD) Hummer! Dakar
“On completion of the ninth, following observation of technical non-compliance on vehicle number 303 (Robby Gordon) (article 1P and 3P of the technical rules), the Car Race Officials' Committee has decided to disqualify number 303 from the race. The driver has appealed against this decision. During appeals, decisions are placed on hold. As a result, vehicle number 303 will continue the rally until the outcome of the appeal.”
Organizer Statement: Dakar
Yet the strange thing about this “infraction” regarding the Hummer’s tyre inflation system is that reportedly it was approved by the very same
Dakar scrutineers for the 2011 Rally - plus this year’s ... And is the exact same system that Gordon’s Hummer’s have been utilizing the past five years. Dakar
Interestingly the problem flared-up after Gordon had whittled down The Desert fox, aka Stéphane Peterhansel’s lead to under six-minutes. Although it does seem slightly weird that Tech Inspectors found an air line running to the engine’s air intake behind the mandatory air restrictor - whilst Robby boldly told the camera eye: “We’ll put a bolt in it and still win Stages!”
Of course this was all prior to Peterhansel ‘N “DirtMann” going Wheel-to-Wheel! Err, or as Professor ‘B (Jon Bekhuis) said; Gordon’s used to rubbing door handles in You-know-where... As I hear that ‘Somme-body will be PEAK-ing over ‘Dar in late February; Hmm? Who could it be?
As Peterhansel apparently refused to give way to Gordon - causing him to fly off a berm hitting a rock and destroying his front wheel, along with puncturing two tyres, sustaining heavy suspension damage and losing a further 14-minutes to Stephane...
Of course this just egged on the Mini drivers to uncork about Gordon, as second place overall competitor Nani Roma told the camera eye: “I CANNOT SAY ON TV WHAT I THINK OF GORDON!”
Meanwhile, Robby’s teammate Nasser Al Attiyah retired the day previously after breaking his Hummer’s alternator belt three times - to which Gordon mused “Nasser” had wanted to quit four days earlier...
Hmm? Disgruntled teammates followed by the boss’s exclusion... Makes Yuhs wonder just how exactly the scrutineers were tipped off what to look for, eh?