Robby Gordon is blowing gaskets over the derailing of the Dakar Rally. And he adds fuel to the fire by commenting that the African desert race is not as dangerous as driving through Los Angeles.
(R. Gordon [L] in a more sedate moment with Tony Stewart [R])
USA TODAY reports that Gordon had already spent $4.5 million getting two Hummers ready for the 16-day, 5,760-mile race, before being told the rally was canceled, due to terrorist concerns.
Last month, a French family visiting Mauritania was killed in an attack by al Qaeda-linked militants. Part of the race goes through the north African country, and organizers decided to call off the rally for the first time in its 30-year history.
But Gordon, who became the first American to win a race stage back in 2005, says winding through the Sahara is no more dangerous than heading on the 405 or Figueroa Street:
“Let’s put this in perspective: I’m pretty sure in L.A. we kill 11 a night on the streets — stabbed, shot, beat up, murdered. This is a couple of kids in the back of a pickup with AK-47s that shot a couple people. I’m sorry to say that, but that’s the reality.
It’s not like this big setup and bombings or whatever. I feel sorry obviously for the families and the people that it happened to, but I don’t get it.”
Robby rages that the cancellation not only cost him money (including $360,000 in entry fees), but ruined a potential sponsorship deal with Microsoft and the release of an Xbox game. Gordon believes that with the no-go, the race organizers are out of business.
Summing up the situation, Robby concludes, “It’s got me completely messed up in the head.” Bases on his astute L.A. observations, we tend to agree.