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article imageUS Ace Pulls Ahead in Dakar Rally

By Christopher Szabo     Jan 6, 2010 in Sports
American NASCAR ace Robby Gordon has won the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally in the Atacama Desert, where his Hummer had a firm grip on the soil. Gordon snatched the victory from overall leader Stephane Peterhansel.
Gordon’s website quoted the racing star:
Here’s a stage we thought we were going to be good and we were – we went out and won. Now we’re still an hour behind overall and had our bogey yesterday, we just have to be strong from here on out and I feel that we can carry it through starting with today.
Gordon went on to explain why he won the stage:
Today's special stage was perfect for us with a lot of camel grass. It's on this type of terrain that the Hummer is doing great.
The American driver is in eighth position overall, still an hour behind the leader. He said:
I am glad we managed to recover from yesterday. I got stuck twice yesterday and the engine overheated. We lost one hour. It's sad but the race is still long. We've only had four days of raid so far. A stage victory means nothing to us. It's the final victory we are in for.
The Dakar falls in a category called ”Rally-Raid” because of its extreme conditions.
France’s Peterhansel in a BMW X-Raid was just one second behind the American, and extended his overall lead in the rally to more than seven minutes. The stage from Fiambala in Argentina to Copiapo in Chile was shortened to 163 kilometres (101 miles) as some drivers arrived late from the previous stage, CNN said.
Second overall is Spain’s Carlos Sainz in a Volkswagen Touareg, followed by teammate Qatar’s Nassar Al-Attiyah.
Defending champion, South African Giniel de Villiers, is back in 20th position because of his problems on a previous stage.
In the motorbike section, defending champion Marc Coma staged a comeback to win on his KTM, with his countryman, David Casteau second on a Sherco.
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