Skip to main content

Gordon facing Dakar disqualification

updated 7:34 AM EST, Thu January 12, 2012
Robby Gordon's hopes of winning the Dakar Rally have been left hanging in the balance.
Robby Gordon's hopes of winning the Dakar Rally have been left hanging in the balance.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Robby Gordon is facing disqualification from this year's Dakar Rally
  • Stewards want to throw the American out of the race over his Hummer's engine
  • Marc Coma now just 16 seconds behind Cyril Despres in motorcycle section

(CNN) -- American Robby Gordon faces disqualification from the Dakar Rally after stewards recommended his removal from the race because his Hummer's engine does not conform to regulations.

The 43-year-old appeared the main challenger to car leader Stephane Peterhansel after winning both Monday and Tuesday's stages, cutting the French driver's advantage to almost six minutes.

However, the ultimate decision over Gordon's fate rests with the French Automobile Sport Federation (FFSA), who must deliver their verdict within two months, although the loser could still appeal to motorsport's global governing body, the FIA, should he be thrown out of the race.

The stewards believe that Gordon's modifying of the ventilation system, linked to his engine, improves its performance level -- a claim he denies.

I hit a rock with both right-side tires and, as you can see, this wheel is way out, so we've got some broken parts
Robby Gordon

That appeal allowed Gordon to continue racing in the 377-kilometer 10th stage from Iquique to Arica in Chile, although his hopes took a further knock as he subsequently lost 15 minutes to stage winner Nani Roma of Spain after suffering damage to his car.

"I hit a rock with both right-side tires and, as you can see, this wheel is way out, so we've got some broken parts," Gordon told reporters.

Roma's victory means he leapfrogs Gordon into second place overall, a massive 19 minutes and five seconds behind fellow Mini driver Peterhansel.

Gordon is another 46 seconds adrift in third with just four stages remaining.

Former motorbike star Peterhansel is bidding for a remarkable 10th overall win in the race and a fourth in the car section.

Meanwhile, just 16 seconds now separate KTM riders Cyril Despres and Marc Coma in the motorcycle section after Wednesday's stage, which was won by Joan Barreda Bort.

Defending champion Coma finished second to his fellow Spaniard on the day, while France's Despres came home fourth.

"It's the tone that's been set for the rally and I think we'll keep on battling until the end," Roma told reporters.

Both riders have won the race three times, alternating victory between each other over the last six seasons.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 12:14 PM EST, Fri November 7, 2014
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
updated 1:14 PM EST, Fri November 7, 2014
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
updated 5:58 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
updated 1:45 PM EDT, Sun October 12, 2014
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
updated 6:39 AM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
updated 9:58 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
ADVERTISEMENT