Robby Gordon – Andy Grider -Tragic Dakar Update Stage 4 & ‘Scopes for Stage 5

The death of South African motorcycle rider Elmer Symons overshadowed Stage 4 of the Dakar Rally in Morocco. states that the KTM rider, a 29-year-old resident of the United States, was killed in a crash on the sandy 405km stage between Er Rachidia and Ouarzazate.
He had been taking part in his first Dakar as a competitor, helped by his brother Kingsley, after twice being involved as part of an assistance team.
Symons had been 18th overall in the event
The race has now claimed 49 lives in its 29-year existence, 24 of them competitors.
Last year in two seperate incidentces, Australian motorcyclist Andy Caldecott was killed in a crash, and two children were killed by Rally vehicles. The year before, motorcyclists Juan Manuel Perez of Spain and Italy’s Fabrizio Meoni were killed while competing.

You can read more about who this awesome young man, Elmer Symons was, at

The Dakar Rally is not like a NASCAR race. Dakar is the most grueling, dangerous race in existance. Each day the terrain is different. The sands in each stage are different. Totally different. From course to fine, fine grit. Each type of sand affect’s how the vehicle handles, and it’s all different. Then there is the mud. The dust can be so thick they can’t see the end of their vehicle. Camel Grass, which feels to a driver like they just hit a huge ridge of rock out of the middle of nowhere. Did you notice, on Robby’s videos, the ravine/drop off on Robby’s left side?
Have you noticed how, as the vehicles are ripping round corners, there are people, children… right there on the side of the road, and they dive to get out of the way. This is crazy racin’. Robby is driving as hard as he can, virtually blind, having no clue what is in front of him, and Andy is his eyes. The communication and skill of both Robby and Andy must be in perfect sync.

The ‘scopes for stage 4, were again pretty right on…

Press Release from Team Dakar USA:

“Stage 4: Er Rachidia – Ouarzazate

Africa begins to show her many traps in today’s stage. This was the competitors’ first opportunity to see the dunes in the 2007 Dakar Rally. Today’s stage was a test of the competitor’s patience and endurance.

Gordon had high hopes for today’s special which was 405km over terrain that was well suited to both the H3 and Robby Gordon’s driving style. He felt that this Moroccan stage from Er Richida to Ouarzazate would have given both he and navigator Andy Grider the chance to showcase the team’s speed.

Contaminated fuel caused the Team Monster Energy/Toyo Tire/Hummer to have less horsepower than the H3 race engine is capable of producing and never allowed the team to really show their strengths.

“Our goal was to come here and win,” said Gordon as he returned to the bivouac. We have been plagued with bad luck, but we won’t let it get us down. This is a long rally and we must put the bad luck behind us and keep moving forward.”

As the team prepares the H3 for the following day’s special to Tan Tan they believe that the fuel issue has been resolved. The rocky terrain of the stage 6 special will be a favorable environment for the Hummer to regain momentum and to improve the overall standing of the team.

The Dakar Rally can be seen on the Versus Network in the United States. In addition Team Dakar USA has teamed up with Micron to provide daily video updates that can be seen on To see all the videos from the 2007 Dakar Rally visit

Here are the ‘Scopes for stage 5:
Robby has a lot of complex aspect’s going on in his chart…
Remember yesterday’s aspect, Mars Square Pluto with a theme of “Fierce Struggles” is in effect in Robby’s chart until the 11th.
You will have a tendency to go about your work in such a way that you arouse great opposition from the people you confront. Or you may have to confront someone else’s energies, which may result in your taking a different course of action from what you originally intended. The energies of this influence can also lead to being the victim of someone else’s ruthlessness. Therefore you should avoid dangerous places and violent people.”
That’s o.k., they know they can gain some ground in stage 6 terrain.

Robby’s Venus moves into his 11th house today. This is good. Very good. The aspect is in effect starting exact at 18:13 and continues thru Feb.14 th.

This is one of the best of all influences for group activities or activities with friends. You will feel friendly toward almost everyone, and they will be friendly in return. It is a good time to have friends in for a party or to go out with a group of friends for a good time. You will enjoy each other’s company immensely and be much more loving and affectionate with each other. This benefit is not limited to activities with friends. Any situation in which you deal with many people in a group setting, for example a business conference or organizational meeting, is favored by this influence. Your ego energies are low enough so that you can deal agreeably with others, making whatever compromises are necessary without feeling that you are losing something personal that you should defend.

Sun Square Saturn ends today for Robby which is good, considering the time differance between here and Africa.
Today may seem depressing and restrictive. You may want to break out of your rut but find that you cannot, because some barrier is holding you back from going out and being yourself. Other people may seem to get in your way and interfere with what you are doing. Physically and psychologically, your energies are low at this time. You may feel that the weight of the world is too heavy, but you don’t expect help because you have not asked for it. However, you have probably made that choice yourself. You reinforce the very circumstances that make you feel lonely and isolated. What you must do is break out of this vicious circle and take a good look at the world and the people around you. Even though you are having some problems with them today, the situation will improve rapidly.
Thank goodness that will be over by the time he starts racing again…

Moon Square Sun
Take your time
Today during the day you will meet some sort of challenge to the structure of your daily life, that is, your home life, intimate relations, routine daily contacts and so forth. All of us have hidden tensions that cause us to operate in ways that we do not understand. The effect of this influence is to bring these tensions to the surface. Thus you may feel ill at ease within yourself and have a bit more difficulty in getting along with others, particularly with women. Now several small areas of your life may simultaneously reach a crisis that forces you to pay more attention to what is happening. This is especially likely to happen with situations or persons that you have been taking for granted. You should take the time to correct little problems as they arise and give them the attention that they require.

Moon Square Med.Coeli exact at 12:44 activity period from 10 January 2007 to 11 January 2007.
Today during the day you experience rapidly changing moods, which may interfere with clear perception of your goals, especially if your goals have been set without much regard for your personal needs. If your goals are purely professional or make excessive demands on your personal and domestic life, this time will be somewhat disruptive. You may feel dissatisfied with your progress, or you may feel that no matter how much you accomplish, there is always something lacking. This influence sometimes signifies tensions in your domestic life. If you have handled this matter well, you should encounter the more positive side of this influence and be able to go about your business with a remarkable sense of wholeness. You will feel that your activities are satisfying, both professionally and personally.

Andy’s day could be a bit difficult, but he has other very positive aspect’s that are long term which mellow out the effects of the aspect’s in effect for Stage 5.

Mercury Square Mars
exact at 18:15
activity period from 10 January 2007 to 11 January 2007.
This influence can be quite difficult. You are inclined to feel touchy and irritable and to regard almost any communication from another person as a challenge. And you will make this attitude so clear to people that they may even tread lightly around you for fear of setting you off. Anyone who crosses you will be told off in no uncertain terms. The worst way to handle this influence, but what you are most likely to do, is to identify your ego with what you believe or think. This will make you act as if your very life were threatened, which of course it is not. If you have to fight for your beliefs, this influence can be a help, but don’t look for a battle or create an issue where none exists.

Mercury Opposition Moon exact at 00:42
activity period from 9 January 2007 to 10 January 2007.
Theme:Cloudy communication
The difficulty with this influence is that you will find it hard to keep emotional issues from clouding your communication with others. You may be expressing your unconscious drives and impulses more than communicating a logical message, but that is not all bad. If you are subject to such compulsions, it is good to express the energy that lies behind them and bring it out into the open. Old thought patterns, attitudes from the past, and unconsciousness about your present situation all endanger your mental effectiveness today. It would be best not to try to reach any important conclusions now. If you do, you will probably have to change them tomorrow.

Mercury Opposition Mercuryexact at 21:49
activity period from 10 January 2007 to 11 January 2007.
Theme: Verbal arguments
This influence is favorable for thinking about and reviewing the past as well as for planning and looking toward the future. But it would be better to be out with people at this time, because this quality of time favors interaction with others more than solitary cogitation. Now, you can try out your ideas on others to find out what they think. Their feedback could be extremely valuable to you in adjusting your thinking. Don’t get so wrapped up in your own ideas that you feel you must defend all your opinions with your life. That will take away the flexibility you need so badly at this time. Even if you get involved in a verbal argument with someone, look at it as a test of your ideas and do not be afraid to change your thinking.

Moon Trine Jupiter exact at 01:20
activity period from 9 January 2007 to 10 January 2007.
Theme: Warmth and affection
Weak, transient effect: It is unfortunate that this influence is so brief, because it gives you such a pleasant sense of well-being. This morning you feel very warm and friendly to the people around you, and you are willing to offer emotional or physical support to anyone who needs it. You are generous and giving. People will warm to you, and you should get from others exactly what you give, that is, warmth and affection. You are likely to attract basically happy and positive people with whom you will have an enjoyable time. This is not the result of a “Pollyanna” view of reality that refuses to recognize trouble and pain in the world, but of a real sense of belonging and oneness with others. In a very important sense you feel that helping others helps you. On another level this influence indicates a concern with the general welfare.

The long term aspect that mellows the previous harsher aspect’s is his Saturn Trine Mars activity period that began in October 2006 and remains in effect until middle of July 2007.
Theme:A formidable opponent
At this time you are capable of hard work undertaken from a very broad perspective. You can put great effort into tasks that are rather narrow in immediate scope but that fit into a larger plan. You are able to organize many small details into an overall pattern in order to accomplish larger tasks.
You express your energies in a careful and controlled manner, which will win you the respect of others for your diligence and perseverance. If there is hard exacting work to be done, you can do it better now than at other times.
This is a favorable time for any kind of work that requires precision and concentrated effort. It is good for metal or stone work, drawing up exact plans, building, grinding, polishing and cutting, especially with metal tools.
This is a time when you are content to be patient and to work slowly toward your objectives. Your expectations are modest, and you are willing to do whatever is necessary to attain them. Others will find you a formidable opponent, simply because you look at all the alternatives and choose your course of action carefully and methodically. One could describe your manner as “relentless.”
This is not a glamorous time in your life, but your actions can lead to real and lasting accomplishments.

So there you go…stage 5 may, again be a bit on the “not as good as we want it”, and Team Hummer USA’s over all standing dropped a bit, but….Stage 6 truly begins some very, very good aspect’s for both Robby and Andy throughout the rest of the Rally.

Tally Ho! Onward Team Dakar USA!! Kill da Wabbit(s)!!



1 Comment

  1. Clance, Thank you for covering the rally and Robby Gordon. The tragic accident reminds us how tough the sport and the race are, and helps us respect these guys and what they do a little more.

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