Gordon facing Dakar disqualification
January 12, 2012 -- Updated 1234 GMT (2034 HKT)
Robby Gordon's hopes of winning the Dakar Rally have been left hanging in the balance.
- Robby Gordon is facing disqualification from this year's Dakar Rally
- Stewards want to throw the American out of the race over his Hummer's engine
- Marc Coma now just 16 seconds behind Cyril Despres in motorcycle section
(CNN) -- American Robby Gordon faces disqualification from the Dakar Rally after stewards recommended his removal from the race because his Hummer's engine does not conform to regulations.
The 43-year-old appeared the main challenger to car leader Stephane Peterhansel after winning both Monday and Tuesday's stages, cutting the French driver's advantage to almost six minutes.
However, the ultimate decision over Gordon's fate rests with the French Automobile Sport Federation (FFSA), who must deliver their verdict within two months, although the loser could still appeal to motorsport's global governing body, the FIA, should he be thrown out of the race.
The stewards believe that Gordon's modifying of the ventilation system, linked to his engine, improves its performance level -- a claim he denies.
I hit a rock with both right-side tires and, as you can see, this wheel is way out, so we've got some broken parts
That appeal allowed Gordon to continue racing in the 377-kilometer 10th stage from Iquique to Arica in Chile, although his hopes took a further knock as he subsequently lost 15 minutes to stage winner Nani Roma of Spain after suffering damage to his car.
"I hit a rock with both right-side tires and, as you can see, this wheel is way out, so we've got some broken parts," Gordon told reporters.
Roma's victory means he leapfrogs Gordon into second place overall, a massive 19 minutes and five seconds behind fellow Mini driver Peterhansel.
Gordon is another 46 seconds adrift in third with just four stages remaining.
Former motorbike star Peterhansel is bidding for a remarkable 10th overall win in the race and a fourth in the car section.
Meanwhile, just 16 seconds now separate KTM riders Cyril Despres and Marc Coma in the motorcycle section after Wednesday's stage, which was won by Joan Barreda Bort.
Defending champion Coma finished second to his fellow Spaniard on the day, while France's Despres came home fourth.
"It's the tone that's been set for the rally and I think we'll keep on battling until the end," Roma told reporters.
Both riders have won the race three times, alternating victory between each other over the last six seasons.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1714 GMT (0114 HKT)
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1814 GMT (0214 HKT)
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.