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.
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.
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.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
Today's five most popular stories