DAKAR 2019

Blade Hildebrand and Toyo Tires/Kings Shocks/SPEED Edition Textron XX Win the OP.1 Class of the Dakar – Robby Gordon Captures Third.

Dakar - The biggest extreme Rally in the world
This event has been a global success for over 40 years now and this year marks the 41st running. The history has been built on the worlds finest deserts with men and women from all horizons, taking on one of the hardest sporting challenges of our era. A competition of extremes and an orienteering race, the Dakar brings together the worlds leading rally riders and drivers who come to fulfill their dream, experience an adventure and meet the biggest challenge of their life. A race that explores the boundaries of man-machine-element combinations and who knows that only few cross its finish line. The Peruvian desert promised and proved to be the sandiest in the history of the rally. Covering roughly 5,600 mile route in Peru
took the competition throughout the Sechera Desert creating a 10 – stage giant loop between Lima and Tacna. Each stage covered between 200 and 500+ miles a day for 10 days and each stage was harder than the previous, which created a suspense filled battle just until the final days. Having the skill to master it all was the key for a successful return to Lima where it all started. This year there was over 545 riders and drivers that took the start in Lima with an impressive number of rookies of which Blade and his team mate Cole Potts, got their christening.

On the 6th of January, Team SPEED, with three SPEED Edition Textron Off-Road XX's Sponsored by Toyo Tires and King Off-Road Racing Shocks, which consisted of Robby Gordon, Blade Hildebrand and Cole Potts, took that stage in front of more than a hundred thousand fans for the traditional Dakar opening ceremonies in Peru....Let the race begin.... Blade #367 and his team mate, Cole Potts #346 are two of the youngest drivers to have conquered this terrain which was powered by human emotions and a huge passion for racing and driven by a monstrous determination with a focus on consistency. Those who don't come prepared from knowing their vehicles with the ability to work and repair on them, as there is no chase trucks/mechanics to make those repairs (only in the Bivaouac) or unable to read or navigate simply do not finish the rally. Only 30% of the competitors completed all 10 stages. This had been a race that Blade had followed all his life, and to represent Team SPEED and the USA at the international level, competing against the worlds best off-road racers in the most grueling race known to man was an absolute honor and to be partnered with King Shocks, Toyo Tires, his mentor Robby Gordon and team mate Cole Potts. They had the right people on their side.

- “Love of Country! USA – We did it!!! I'm a little lost for words right really hasn't sunk in after 10 brutal days with plenty of ups and downs. The team and I have completed the Dakar Rally in Peru coming in P.1 in OP1 Class with Robby Gordon taking third. Brett and Ross King of King Shocks has made it possible to be in an event that we all dream about! It was an honor for me to represent “Kings Shocks”, A name that symbolizes excellence and performance to the highest level and “Toyo Tires” played a huge part in our success...not a single flat in the #367 SPEED Textron XX. It was a honor for me to represent Toyo Tires, a name of proven performance, at such an event that is recognized and viewed by global audiences. The SPEED Textron XX Team busted their butts night after night, day after day in the bivouac's, the only outside assistance for repairs, all other repairs where done by myself out on the rally course. Without this group of guys, and their
commitment to the finish, it wouldn't have been this surreal! And to all the followers, new and exisiting who posted such encouraging messages and took the time to support and watch on instagram and NBC Sports TV for the 10 days...Thank You, I am forever humbled and grateful. A special Shoutout to my mentor, Robby
Gordon for including me in this phenomenal life changing event! Lived was that real!!!

MINT 400

Blade Hildebrand saves the Day! Stay tuned for the ever changing events of Race Day!