Jan 8th, 2015 Dakar Rally Stage 5 Race Info & Discussion

Join in and discuss all the action from Stage 5 of the 2015 Dakar Rally. Robby Gordon had a disappointing 47th place finish in stage 4. The special section of Stage 5 is 458km long. Robby Gordon start time: 10:49am/et, and he will be the 18th car off the line. Gordon sits 39th in the overall standings, 5h47m behind. Raceday chat will be available throughout the entire 2015 Dakar Rally.


2015 Stage 4 Photos


STAGE 5 TRACKING


STAGE 5: COPIAPO > ANTOFAGASTA

Connection 239km | Special Stage 458km | Total 697km

COURSE OVERVIEW

This is the first of the rare special stages in which all categories will compete. At the start of the race, the most confident drivers will be able to take advantage of the fast tracks to try to move up in the overall standings. But the temptation to do so may be risky, particularly in the hard-to-handle fesh-fesh areas where absolute self-control is the only guarantee of success. Overtaking here requires precision handling to the extreme.



The GREEN section of the route is the connection , the RED is the Special Section of the stage.

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Zero Visibility at best !

Held back on posting this year, was more optimistic than ever after watching the NBC segments. Just like the Uprising, seems to be two groups of fans, those who defend and those who assess.

After watching the show, I really feel like it's time to give this up. I felt a few things RG said through that also echoed that. I'm also surprised with all the attention this year, more sponsors didn't come on board.

I think we learned a lot from Sprint Cups closing season, the talent has never been in question. Other drivers, media, you name it...they told you...talents not what's lacking. It's really just not reasonable to run this type of program out of RGM. It wasn't reasonable with Nascar, thus we saw the multi team merges. The only times things worked out with RGM was the SS and RC, when Robby carried the team and car himself.

Dakars overall, much less stage winners are going to run a practically flawless race. I think even with RG and the full year build, we saw right away on stage two, it's not even close to being enough. I can't even imagine the testing (and budget) the factory teams use, I can however easily assume RG only has the time, money and personnel to do a fraction of it. You can blame equipment, weather, bad luck.....it's the worlds toughest race every team has issues but the big ones find and fix well before the race. You tell me how many factory teams were redoing brakes in the garage days before the event. Joke about the reporter interview all you want, argue the point of "it's never done or not improve-able". Bottom line, it wasn't ready.

The amount of money spent on this is more than likely staggering, the results are usually lack laster. Let's save the fan aspects of it, let's set aside the constant "Nobody's more upset than RG". Nobody else is putting in the money, time and energy into this with little final results to show for it.

It's been a great run, it's been a wonderful rally point for the US and we all have great memories of this race. Without RG, I'm sure many of us won't nearly give it the attention we do now. Being realistic, let's try to win some stages and put an end to this.

I believe the Dakar Rally is to Robby what Mount Everest is to a climber. Once you get a taste of it you won't be satisfied until you reach the summit. There's no money in it to speak of, no more than standing atop of Everest, but it gets in your blood. It's the itch you can't reach - but you still try. You have to try. It's what the human spirit is all about.

Too many today demand instant success - more from others than of themselves. That's just sad. We've lost the appreciation of watching the determination and dedication of those totally committed to pursuing their goals. We want that goal achieved now. We've become a very impatient society. We stand in front of the microwave oven and want our food cooked even faster. Thirty minute pizza delivery isn't fast enough.

Holding hands with impatience is intolerance. The common theme in this Dakar has been the cry over a perceived lack of testing. RGM has done more testing leading up to this Dakar than in any previous year - fact. But there comes a point when the testing ends and it's time to go racing. The Peugeot team didn't go into the rally saying, "A third of the way into the Dakar we plan to have two cars break down in hopes of being about 6 hours behind with our remaining car outside the top ten in the overall." A $60 million budget, a huge resource pool to draw from, endless hours on the dyno, thousands of miles testing, pressure and expectation of instant success....do you think that team is happy?

Robby does it his own way right or wrong. We're just along for the ride. Enjoy it.

You make good points, I see the other side of the coin trust me. If it came down to who wants it more, who works as tirelessly and who dedicated themselves too it.....RG would be undefeated.

Using your Everest analogy, at some point you have to realize the change between determination and obsession. RG is one of the most diverse drivers in history, simply put, no other driver will ever be able to write the resume he can. Winning Dakar isn't the end all be all, at some point the financial and physical costs over ride the trophy, or the summit if you will.

I don't think any team, Peugeot to keep your example, comes in with a plan. I don't think plans exist in off road racing, nore does strategy. We can't pit with the leaders, we can't stay out to lead a lap, we can't stay toward the back and ride it out, we can't get "off sequence". It's a constantly evolving track and car for everyone.

This has been 10 years, now I suppose we can say 3 "generations" of cars. You can't keep turning lost rally's into test sessions for next year. You can't get ahead of the other teams, it's fun to pull the David and Goliath card....but it's more like that than any of us know. Whatever RG is learning the next few weeks, the other teams more that likely have tested out long ago in terms of design and application.

It's not about Robby doing it his way, because we know that works....look at Speed and SST....and the list of people who told him those would fail. It's about being practical and logical, two things RG is just about as good at as driving. A lot of this also comes back to RCR days, where we learned the best RG is the one that only asked to drive.

I've been aloof this year because of work, but MMR2 you must consider that last year wasn't a true test for the Gordini. It had so many problems that is never really ran at top speed. They lost a cylinder early on, and it limped the rest of the race.

I consider this year the first true test of the Gordini, and even factory teams need at least one year to figure out their cars and only have a 1/5 shot of their cars of winning after that. Sure Robby's odds are lower but not worth giving up, and if he is having fun and is passionate about it, I say continue on. If RG fans know anything it is about rooting for the underdog. If RG was only about winning he would have joined a team in Nascar, Indy, and Dakar, but he is about more than that. He is about doing it his way, win or lose.

If a factory was smart they would see that Robby has everything other than the money to win at any motorsport he does and they would partner with him and give him the resources they need, but that will never happen, just like Robby will never do it their way.

Robby is an different, he is a rebel, he likes to do things his way. Robby is the Steve Jobs of racing, the problem is racing is stuck in it's ways and not ready to listen to a transformative character in the same way tech is. Heck even Jobs had issues with flack and losing his own company.

With those kind of people you win big and lose big. Nothing in between, and that it both heartbreaking and extremely fun.

Here's to the Crazy Ones - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM8GiNGcXuM

both of you guys are soo right .
argue all you want .
it is not reasonable ... it is DAKAR !

Good lord, did you read what I wrote? You seemed to take this to a very strange place with dreams and quotes.

You've see these videos right, you've watched the countless hours, prepping, staging and support needed to compete at this level? You've seen the equipment going from one side of the globe to the other? I'm gonna safely assume that 1.5 hour video was maybe a condensation of about 10,000 man hours in the last year alone.....and I think that's an extremely conservative number.

When you've done this for 10 years with sporadic success, when your not capable of following within the status quo for success in the event, it's time to step back. It's not as simple as "oh well I'm not successful as I'd like to be, I'll just keep following this dream". I'll be blunt with you, that's being simple and short sighted, you don't become as successful as RG has being that way.

Id actually say RG is just as good of a businessman as a racer. It's not about proving yourself to other drivers for respect or chasing dreams, which in part you already accomplished. It's about looking at the toll you put on your reputation, employees and livelihood. Your never going to convince me it's profitable or reasonable for this type of investment to yield such small returns. My original point is, despite how I personally felt , I don't see how the expenses can be justified both financial and physical anymore.

These factory teams are recoding real life data which can be extrapolated at some level to create a higher quality showroom model. They are also building a brand and off road recognition on a global scale which creates marketing points that can sell tens of thousands of vehicles. Robby Gordon Motorsports and the Gordini don't fall in that same category, not even close.

Only to recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles and pay millions of dollars in settlements because a component design was faulty or it simply didn't last its expected life cycle....like a flex plate.

Let's bottom line this---137 teams--(factory backed & privateer) started only 4 stages ago----we are left with 91 cars preparing to start Stage 5---yes we are only at Stage 5 and we have already lost over 40% of the starting field. Of the 91 cars at the line for Stage 5 ONLY 7 are within 1 hour of the leader.
I guess we should tell some of the heavy factory aided drivers---(Sainz, Roma--(defending champion), Terranova) to pack it up and head home. You have to realize that with this race it is about desire, determination, perseverance, equipment, ability and some luck thrown in and not just a big money issue.
If we were to use your reasoning here maybe the NFL should be a 10-12 team league, NBA maybe 8-12 teams. Why bother even suiting up if you are outspent by some of your competitors. What happens if RG wins a stage or two and finishes top 5 in another 4 to 6 stages? RG is a very talented off road driver---ask around the garage area and you would probably hear top 5 in the world. It will all come together one year and he will do the unspeakable---as a private 1 car team win the toughest, most grueling race in the world.

right on !!

Well said. Especially about "instant success". I'm finishing this with Robby & Johnny. If not for RG, I wouldn't be watching at all. #ShakeandBake!

THIS IS A FANTASTIC POST. Well written WJM.

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