The car division of the Rally will enjoy a rest day today before the final five sections of the race.
Gordon and navigator Johnny Campbell scored a 43rd-place finish in Sunday’s eighth stage of the rally after taking a conservative approach to the 805-kilometer route due to an oil pressure issue.
For the 76 competitors who started Sunday’s eighth stage of the 2015 Dakar Rally, it was both long and difficult. The 781-kilometer timed section of the stage through salt flats, mountains and soft sand dunes consisted of wide-open racing as well as timed sections in which drivers were required to maintain a pace in compliance with local speed limits.
Gordon and Campbell had already decided to race the stage cautiously in order to prevent strain on equipment and after seeing signs of an oil pressure issue that strategy was of even more importance. Being behind in the overall standings with a single goal of winning stages from now until the end of the Rally, the team could afford to play it safe.
“Unfortunately the engine decided to not give the oil pressure Robby was hoping for and with that it turned into a survival day rather than a race day,” said Campbell. “After the Special (timed section) there was a 250-kilometer ‘neutralization’ followed up by a 38-kilometer sand special, finishing at the bivouac at the bottom of the infamous 3,000-foot Iquique dune. It was management of equipment that mattered today and Robby did a fantastic job at that, and we brought her home safe and sound.”
Gordon finished the stage 1 hour, 7 minutes and 26 seconds behind winner Yazeed Alrajhi with a time of 4:34:15.
Alrajhi of Saudi Arabia won his first career Dakar stage in this his rookie campaign, beating Orlando Terranova of Argentina by 1 minute, 12 seconds and Nasser Al-Attiyah of Saudi Arabia by 2 minutes, 36 seconds. Al-Attiyah increased his overall lead by eight seconds over Giniel De Villiers of South Africa who finished the stage fourth.
The car division of the Rally will enjoy a rest day today before the final five sections of the race, which ends Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The rest day will allow the teams to rest their bodies and make repairs to their cars, which have traveled more than 5,775 punishing kilometers (3,588 miles) since the start of the Rally one week ago.
Five stages remain in the Rally which will end Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Follow the Dakar Rally through live timing and scoring as well as live updates at planetrobby.com.