NASCAR racer Robby Gordon has made a solid start to his challenge on the 2010 Dakar Rally to hold a top ten position after the opening two stages of the event.

At the wheel of his Hummer H3, Gordon set an impressive sixth quickest time on the opening test of the event on Saturday - less than five minutes behind pace-setter Nani Roma's BMW X3 CC.

Gordon carried that form into the second stage on Sunday although he lost time with a puncture after hitting a rock, but was eleventh quickest through the stage to lie ninth overall heading into the third special stage today [Monday].

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"The only problem we had where we lost a lot of time was a flat tyre - we haven't practiced changing a tyre in a while," he said following the run from Cordoba to La Rioja. "To lose twelve minutes isn't too bad at this point and it's all desert tomorrow so it should be good for us."