Johnny Campbell Dakar Rally update. Looks like #TeamUSA is gaining some momentum... Photo from Planet Robby

Jan 10th, 2015

"Hola all you barrel of monkeys!! I wanted to update you on the last two Dakar stages for the #308 Speed Energy Team. We final hurdled our early stage issues and had two very good days. Yesterday, Copiapo to Antofagasto stage was really solid for us nailing down a solid third only 1:25 back from the Russian fast guy, and seconds behind Yazeed the speedster from the Mid-East. The stage had lots of "off-piste" that was really good for the Gordini. Passed Carlos Sainz and Terranova in this rough gnarly section, btw all speeds over 80-90mph! Yikes! Important job for the Navi boy as dangers come up very quick as we crossed many death ditches! Shortly after we made that move I beefed the Nav and let Carlos back by. We chased him for miles and finally caught him again for good...too bad for him and his super Navi guy Lucas Cruz they bit the big one chasing us down. Glad they are ok. RG was on point of course, and sent it across the line third OA for the trip to Antofagasto. Stage 7: Antofagasto to Iquique. 300k plus liaison and a 277k special. It was a split special 69k and 12 mile neutral zone and 168k final section. The first 69k was way way fast with "danger 3" ditches crossing the route. Silt, bad g outs and gotcha's. We nailed it pretty good but Nasser killed everyone. The second section we took off on a hard pack road twisty and up and down. Then a bit of off piste, across a "solar" lava rock dry lake! And finished up with some blinding flat light dunes. We pretty much had the stage dialed and were looking good, took over the physical lead when Yazeed stuck it at the top of a razorback. We ran solid with Navi thru the dunes til it looked like we had a couple of flats in the rear and when we aired down they wouldn't come back. We stopped and were ready to change when RG solidified the tires were coming back up. Back in and lead to the finish in a super fun tight twisty canyon with high banked walls. Amazing. Physical first, 1:45 back of stage winner Nasser. Put us in 4th for the day. Top four spread for 277k 1:45! Crazy. These guys haul the turkeys. Off to bed, marathon stage to Bolivia tomorrow at a remote bivouac. No assistance. 4:15am wake up...ugh! Later lovely peeps!" 11-Time

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