Robby Gordon and issues with a governing body? Who would have guessed?
Gordon is appealing his disqualification at the Dakar Rally after being involved in an incident with overall leader Stephane Peterhansel in the 10th stage. Gordon had made up time on Peterhansel -- who, let's be honest, was probably Jean Girard's teammate in Talladega Nights -- in the ninth stage and was passing him when he his Hummer suffered damage.
The Dakar Rally off-road endurance race has been held in South America since moving from Europe and Africa after 2008 because of security concerns.
"I hit a rock with both right-side tyres and as you can see this wheel is way out, so we've got some broken parts," Gordon said. "Do I think I can win again? Of course. I was passing him [Peterhansel], he didn't move over and I clobbered a rock and got two flat tyres at the same time. So, we've got our work cut out for us. We've got a damaged race car that we're going to have work on and there's a lot of damage from what I can see. Now we'll push, push, push even harder."
The crash with the rock cost Gordon more than 14 minutes -- making his deficit to Peterhansel over 19 minutes. And because of the damage, Gordon's Hummer failed inspection, resulting in the disqualification.
However, since Gordon is appealing the decision, he's allowed to continue on in the rally until the appeal is over. However, with a damaged car and a bunch of time lost to the leader, Stage 10 might have been the end of Gordon's chances even if he isn't disqualified.
UPDATE: Gordon's team has issued a statement about the disqualification, which actually centers around tire inflation. We apologize for any confusion. Gordon lost even more time in Thursday's 11th stage because of a broken part.
"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."
The results of the disqualification appeal will not be decided until after the conclusion of the race.