2019 Dakar Stage 1 Report

Team SPEED 2019 Dakar Race Report

January 7, 2019

Stage 1 Lima to Pisco

Liaison: 331 km / 206 miles

Special: 84 km/ 52 miles

No. 316 SPEED Energy/ Toyo Tires SPEED Edition XXR- Robby Gordon

Start Position: 16

WP1: -00:02:08

WP2: -00:04:10

Total Time: 01:10:09

Finish behind leader: -00:08:28

Stage Result: 21

Overall Position: 21


– The 2019 Dakar Rally will mark Robby Gordon of Orange, California’s 13th start in the prestigious Off-Road Rally race.
– Gordon and veteran navigator Kellon Walch started 16th off the line for Stage 1 of the 2019 Dakar Rally.
– Thru way point 1 Gordon in the Toyo Tires SPEED Edition Textron XX was on pace with the lead cars. However, would miss the waypoint and need to turn around to clear it loosing a few valuable minutes in the process.
– Running a lower air pressure than normal to gain traction in the sand, Gordon would need to pace himself through the fast and rocky portions of the three wash sections to be careful to not puncture one of his 33” Toyo Tires Open Country M/T Tires.
– Similar to the first way point, remaining focused on passing the cars in front of him Gordon would miss the way point, and veteran navigator Walch would instruct him to turn around to clear. Resulting in finishing 8 minutes and 28 second behind leader Nasser Al-Attiyah with a total time of 1 hour 10 minutes and 9 seconds.


“All three cars finish today, and really did not have any problems, a few small things that were self induced. I tried cutting the course a couple times, and Kellon made me loop back around to get the waypoints. I most likely lost around 3 minutes by missing way points, and having to turn around and go back to clear it. When you start so back in the field like sixteenth where we did, as a driver your not focused on the way points, your focused on the cars, and try to get to the car in front of you.”

“We are running a OEM production tire on the SPEED Edition Textron XXR this year, a 33” Toyo Tires Open Country M/T. With the Sand I felt the way the M/T is with the sidewall, I had to drop my tire pressures down to ten pounds, but I didn’t realize we were going to have three wash sections about 15 miles of rocky washes but I had to be very careful and slow down the pace to not get a rock thru the tire with low pressure. My strategy was great in the sand, but was defiantly a disadvantage with the high speed in the rocks.”

“Myself and Team SPEED made a lot of changes to these cars after the Baja 1000. Back in that race we lost a head gasket, so really focused on the cooling and oil cooling leading up to the Dakar. The water temp I never saw over 200 degrees, the oil temp the highest I saw was 220 degrees. It looks like we have our cooling temperatures stabilized. The most important thing was to survive this special. We did a 160 miles transfer liaison on the way here that was perfect for breaking the engines in, and getting everything bedded in properly. Having all three cars finish on day one is a good sign. We did enter a UTV against the Cars, we would of won the UTV class pretty easy but that wasn’t the name of the game here. We came to race the cars and to be honest when I saw the eight minutes down I saw a bit of sticker shock, but when I went back and evaluated all of the things we did wrong or we could of done better. I found that we could most likely find five of the eight minutes back. That would put us pretty much on pace with everyone. Biggest thing in Stage 2 I cannot over drive the car and be smart consistently having good runs. Stage 2 will give us dune, gravel roads and rocks at the end of the day we will see where we stack up against the competition.

No. 346 ICP/ Security State Bank/ Toyo Tires SPEED Edition XXR- Cole Potts

WP1: -5:26

WP2: -00:11:09

Total Time: 01:22:03

Finish behind leader: -00:20:22

Stage Result: 43

Overall Position: 43


-Cole Potts of Scottsdale, Arizona made his first Dakar Rally start today in Stage 1 from Lima, Peru to Pisco, Peru.
-The short 84 km special offered Potts and navigator Max Eddy an opportunity to become familiar with the SPEED Edition Textron XXR racecar.
-Not pushing the Innovative Computer Professional/ Security State Bank/ Lakes Region Casino car too hard Potts cleared checkpoint one 5 minutes and 26 seconds behind the leader Nasser Al-Attiyah. The second half of the Stage was a little more difficult, and Potts lost time on the leader trying to navigate the dunes.
-Finishing the stage with a total time of 1 hour and 22 minutes and 3 seconds, Potts received a good learning experience of what to expect the rest of the rally.


“Good Stage today for my first experience at a Rally. My main objective was to get a feel for the car, and its limitations with out pushing it too hard and breaking anything. The Dunes are similar to what I have been training on in the US. On behalf of Blade and Robby. I think we are all very comfortable out here in the sand, and the other terrain that’s going to get thrown at us so that’s a real bonus. Today was just a day to really figure out the car, and get it up to our liking for the remaining stages. We will make a few adjustments, and be back to give it a go tomorrow for Stage 2.”

No. 367 King Shocks/Toyo Tires SPEED Edition XXR- Blade Hildebrand

WP1: -00:03:32

WP2: -00:06:56

Stage Total Time: 01:16:11

Finish behind leader: -00:14:30

Stage Result: 34

Overall: 34


-Blade Hildebrand of Yucca Valley, California made his first Dakar Rally start today in Stage 1 from Lima, Peru to Pisco, Peru.

-The short distance of the special would give Hildebrand and navigator Bill Conger an opportunity to become acquainted with the King Shocks/Toyo Tires SPEED Edition Textron XXR during race conditions.

-Hildebrand made it thru check point one with a time 3:32 behind the leader Nasser. The second half of the stage was consistent for the King Shocks/Toyo Tires SPEED Edition Textron XXR but was more challenging.

-Hildebrand and Conger would finish 6 minutes and 56 seconds behind the leader with a total time of 1 hour 16 minutes and 11 seconds.


“Today was Stage 1 of the Dakar Rally, and I was able to move the King Shocks/ Toyo Tires SPEED Edition Textron XXR pass some cars through the stage, but I really tried to take it easy feeling out the car and working with Bill (Conger) to make each waypoint consistently without getting lost. The car had no problems as it ran flawlessly the entire stage. We are going to do a little bit of shock tuning over night to prepare for Stage 2. As they were a little soft today for the dunes, other than that the car ran great, and I am looking forward to Stage 2.