Originally Posted by Southest US Thumper
Well the whole scrutineering Pass then Un-pass last year and the "Talk" that other teams were holding out on ratting him out about it until the Hummer got within striking range makes me think that ASO takes his money and let's him play and bring in the fan base (slight US but crowd pleaser on the stages). I say play because it doesn't seem that they will actually ever let him win, though I wonder if that would all change if he could convince a manufacturer with a strong European presence, Ford comes to mind, to field a factory team of Pick Em Up Trucks or SUV "Look Alike" buggies.
I don't really watch Robby in the other disciplines he races but when it comes to Dakar I sure do, the "American Rebel" logo appeals to me, I've done the Planet Robby thing since the Monster days just for these two weeks.
The general public knows little of what really went down with Robby & the ASO or the FIA on his getting DQed. I do know that it was general knowledge in the bivouac that the other teams knew about "systems" down stream of the restrictor on his car, did the ASO overlook it and then the FIA stepped in when BMW blew the whistle? Water under the bridge. There is no ASO vs. American thing happening no matter what the fanatics blather about.
There was a Dakar race before Robby and there will be a Dakar race next year when he stays home to run his SST business. Excitable kids at a skate park is kewl, but do you really think it brings the ASO a measurable increase in revenue? Just like what we see in Baja when he shows up to race, lots of crowd excitement as he goes through contingency and everyone yells and yea hoos when he races by, but those people are there even when he's not racing. Ever see the turn out for WRC in Argentina?? They have to cancel special stages because the crowds are too large.