It's January and in Robby Gordon's world that means another Dakar Rally is set to begin. The well-traveled NASCAR star and off-road veteran is taking two Hummers to the rally, which is being staged in Argentina and Chile this year after terrorist threats canceled the traditional Lisbon-Dakar Rally last year. Gordon, above, will be racing in his fifth Dakar Rally and again pair with Andy Grider in the Monster Energy drink sponsored Hummer H3 built out of Gordon's off-road shop in southern California. Frenchmen Eric Vigouroux and Alexandre Winocq will pilot Gordon's second Hummer entry in the car class. The 2009 Dakar Rally begins in Buenos Aires on Jan. 3 and ends there on Jan. 18. During the course of the rally, competitors will have to travel over plains, rocks and sand, dessert dunes and high mountain roads. While the route begins on the Atlantic Ocean, competitors in the motorcycle, quad, car and truck classes will have a rest day on Jan. 10 in Valparaiso, Chile, on the Pacific Ocean. On Jan. 12, the drivers will be challenged by Chile's Atacama Desert, known as the world's driest. In all, the event will cover almost 6,000 miles (9,574 kilometers).
Gordon and his team are very tech savvy, so visit robbygordon.com each day during the rally for updates, pictures, videos and more. Go here for overall rally coverage, including news, route maps and competitors lists. Versus will air 30-minute highlight shows at 2:30 p.m. (Central) and 5:30 p.m. (Central) each day starting on Jan. 4.
-- Michele Vincze
Photo: The Associated Press