Any early optimism for Robby Gordon after a podium finish in Sunday’s opening stage of the Dakar Rally has surely given way following a tough Stage 2 on Monday.
Gordon and co-driver Johnny Campbell entered Monday just 42 seconds off the lead in the car category. But multiple mechanical issues on their Gordini, including overheating brakes and then an additional breakdown near the end of the stage, cost them more than four hours.
Needing a tow over the final 30 kilometers, Gordon and Campbell ended up 50th today. Overall, they’re now behind leader/Stage 2 winner Nasser Al-Attiyah by four hours, seven minutes, 36 seconds.
The Dakar website’s ‘Live Feed’ from Stage 2 reports that Gordon’s early brake woes occurred before the first checkpoint and cost him and Campbell roughly 40 minutes. The Planet Robby site has posted a video from French television that shows Gordon trying to fix the issue – you can check it out here.
In 2014, Gordon was waylaid in the opening stage by vapor lock problems that put him back more than two and a half hours. He would soldier through his 100th career Dakar stage in Stage 8, but later on in Stage 11, Gordon was forced to retire from the event due to a compromised air filtration system on his car.
A third-place showing on Sunday – which was later made a second-place showing after Al-Attiyah was penalized – gave Gordon confidence that this year’s Dakar would bring better fortunes.
Instead, he finds himself once again in a deep hole early. But Gordon is looking to push on.
“Everybody is going to have problems on this Dakar,” he said Monday. “I’ve lost four hours, but it’s only the second day of the race. I’m not done for yet, no way.”
NBCSN’s daily coverage of the Dakar Rally is underway. For a full Dakar TV schedule, CLICK HERE.