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Special Motorsports Event - Stage Report 5 Dakar Rally

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Arica, Jan. 10, 2013: Stage 4 was a tough one for Robby Gordon and his SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI team, but he excels at taking his misfortunes and turning them into positives. Gordon started Stage 5 far down the list, making his objective for the Stage to pass as many cars as he could. Picking cars off one-by-one, Gordon quickly found himself quickly in the top-5 after the first checkpoint and reeled in the next two competitors in line by the last checkpoint, finishing on the podium only 1 minute and 41 seconds being stage winner, Nani Roma.

"Stage 5 was obviously a lot better than Stage 4 as I put ourselves into a horrible position the day before. If we just would have maintained yesterday we would be sitting here fifth overall in the Rally. Instead we're sitting here in 35th place, 5 hours and 50 minutes behind the leaders. The car showed today that its capable of performing by finishing third. It is just a bummer we started 27th today and passed 13 cars in route. Now we get to start back with the lead pack again like we did on Stage 4. There's really nothing to gain except to have strong runs, learn as much as we can about the car and at least we will have more experience. This was our year to win the rally, and I truly feel that we gave our opportunity away," said Robby Gordon, driver of the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI HUMMER.

Entering a new country in the Dakar Rally means a new set of changes. The competitors will set their watches forward by two hours and are in for an early morning during Stage 6. Changes are also bound to happen during the overall rankings. Tomorrow's Stage 6 will come early with the time change as drivers head to Calama. This is the return to the Atacama Desert were Gordon has several stage wins over his career. A driver's mental state and toughness due to lack of sleep will be key for the stage win.