Robby Gordon and Team SPEED are shocked and disappointed by the interim decision by the race organizers of the 2012 Dakar Rally, and that decision has now been appealed to the governing body. The appeal will be decided several weeks from now, so Robby Gordon and the Team will continue to participate in the 2012 Dakar Rally pending final determination of the appeal.
The issue centers on the tire inflation system used on the Hummers. That system was specifically inspected, tested, and approved by the organizers for both the 2011 Dakar Rally and the 2012 Dakar Rally. Further, it is the same system that Robby Gordon and the Team have used on the Hummers for each of the past 5 years that they have participated in the Dakar Rally.
It is particularly unfortunate that an issue like this would be raised after the system was specifically approved while Robby and the Team were gaining on the leader through virtually every stage of the rally. It is equally troublesome that this decision has been made at the same time that French national and race leader Stephane Peterhansel has been effectively excused from any responsibility for failing to comply with the rule obligating all competitors to give way when the sentinel is pressed by a competitor who is about to pass. However, Robby Gordon and Team SPEED choose to believe that the outcome of the 2012 Dakar Rally will ultimately be decided on the race course by competitors using equipment that was expressly approved by the race organizers, and not as a result of a political battle between competing teams or national interests.
Robby Gordon, Johnny Campbell, and Team SPEED intend to complete the 2012 Dakar Rally and do their best to achieve a podium finish. The Team will put this alleged infraction behind them and hopes to celebrate as one of the top teams of the 2012 Dakar Rally.