Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dakar costs a bit underestimated

I slightly underestimated the costs of the cancellation of Dakar Rally for one team... by a few million.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. --Robby Gordon said Monday the cancellation of the Dakar Rally cost him approximately $4.5 million, and he disagreed with the decision not to race at least a portion of the event.

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''An entry for the Dakar is $12,000 per person, not counting the vehicles,'' he said. ''I think our entries were $360,000 and that's just the entry fees. That's not shipping trucks. That's not flying people there. That's not hotels in Lisbon. It's a big deal, and it's got me completely messed up right now in the head.

What's even more interesting is that all of the infrastructure was setup to race and a course alteration would have been acceptable in lieu of cancellation.

''All of the equipment was there,'' he said. ''All of the teams were there. Television was set up. All of the stuff was done, and Portugal is not a dangerous area to race. It's a safe country, it's a beautiful country, and we had the permits to run on those roads and those trails. Some of it was military proving grounds, and we had what we needed to do to race there.

''Why didn't we go to Morocco and run a few stages in Morocco? ''

One team member is still going to Dakar with supplies intended for a school.

Despres will still be in Dakar on January 20, “I have decided to honour my own humanitarian obligations. I will inaugurate the new school in Dakar and make sure the school materials that I took to Lisbon will reach their intended destination."

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