Dakar makes symbolic start in Argentina On New Years Day thousands have gathered at the Obelisk in the center of Argentina’s capital for the symbolic start of the Dakar Rally.
Competitors made a 215-mile drive to the city of Colon. The real racing on the 5,600-mile journey across Argentina and Chile begins Saturday for more than 350 drivers in cars, motorbikes, quads and trucks. The finish is back in Buenos Aires on Jan. 16.
The rally was moved to South America in 2009 because of safety concerns and the possibility of a terrorist attack in Africa.
Team Hummer and Robby Gordon after Opening Day.
American Robby Gordon and his navigator Andy Grider were fan favorites. After Robby Gordon was interviewed about last year’s impressive performance and what he expected for this year, he climbed back into his Hummer Proto as the announcer said to the thousands of people in the streets "and now for what you have all been waiting for." Robby Gordon backed up his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Hummer and jumped over the stage to the crowds delight.
"I feel good about the rally" Robby Gordon commented to the crowd. "I feel that our team is stronger than ever before with the addition of Carlo Degavardo and BJ Baldwin, our Hummers are stronger, faster and lighter. I look forward to getting off to a good start and the challenge that comes along with the Rally." Robby Gordon was then asked what it’s like to be back in Argentina and happily replied, "it’s great to be back here in Argentina. You guys are wonderful and have a beautiful country."
For tomorrow, there will be a 251-kilometre special stage from Colon to Cordoba. A total of 684 kilometers, including liaison stages, are on the agenda.
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