Archive for Dakar Rally

The 2015 Dakar Rally is now complete.  There was a lot to learn on our inaugural trip to South America with Toyo Tires.  With our crews at home and on the ground, we were able to figure some of the behind the scenes workings of the largest motorsport event in the world.

The Dakar, being the Olympics of Off-Road racing, has competitors from every continent. Media coverage at the Dakar Rally has global dimensions as well. As the rally moves from location to location and so does the entire TV production.  The A.S.O. produces its own daily TV program that then gets distributed to various participating countries TV networks. In the US, NBC Sports is the network that delivers daily highlights and updates from the race.  Read More→

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Charlotte, N.C. (December 4, 2012) – With no desert too large and no mountain too tall, the SPEED Energy HUMMER on victory proven Toyo Tires will once again attempt to conquer the world’s most famous off-road event. The custom-built Dakar HUMMER driven by Robby Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch will tackle more than 8000 Km / 4970 Mi from Peru through Argentina and ending in Santiago, Chile making it the ultimate off-road adventure; the 35th Annual Dakar Rally. Read More→

  • After battling an array of issues, Skilton’s team literally pushed him onto the podium to claim his second-place finish.
  • Skilton’s second-place finish in OP1 in limbo while the world waits for a ruling on a technical infraction by the first-place finisher.

Fort Mill, SC – January 24, 2012. The historic Dakar Rally is not for the faint of heart and veteran driver Darren Skilton, along with navigator Skyler Gambrell, pushed the limits in what some are calling the most difficult course since the race moved to South America in 2009.  The General Tire-sponsored team endured more than 5,590 miles of silt beds, mile high dunes, treacherous mountains, inclement weather and mental exhaustion on their way to a second-place finish.  Just one of 72 teams to finish the race that 171 teams started. This marks the second year running that Skilton finished the grueling pan-American adventure. Read More→

The Revolution VI crossing the Andes into Chile - Dakar RallyAfter days of battling fuel deliver issues that would send most competitors packing, Darren Skilton is finally finding his stride at the 2012 Dakar Rally.  The Stage 7 loop starting and ending in Copiapo covered 417 kilometers with the most sand dunes to date.  Competitors have been dropping out at a rapid rate and Dakar veteran Skilton new that he must merely survive Special Stage 7 in order to ensure the chance of a strong finish at the rally.  This is a scenario that is not foreign to the 17-year racing resident, who is taking part in his ninth Dakar Rally.  Last year the Long Beach resident won the Open Production 2 class in a General Tire-shod Ford Raptor. Read More→
Darren Skilton splashes his way through Dakar Stage 4On the road to Chilecito on Wednesday, Darren Skilton had to battle for every kilometer on Stage 4 of the Dakar Rally. “The frustrating part is that I know my car is very competitive,” Skilton explained.  “I am so anxious to get this fuel issue resolved so I can really show what the Revolution VI is capable of.”  What started as a bid for a top ten finish has turned into a fight just to survive each stage.  When running properly, Skilton has demonstrated that both he and his General Tire-shod buggy are very fast.  The team finished the special in 8 hours and 33 minutes, and then had to navigate to the bivouac in the dark on a narrow shelf road clinging to the side of a cliff through the Andes.  “The Baja Designs HID lights on the front of the car are incredibly bright and tough as nails,” Skilton reported.  “Visibility is one thing that I never have to concern myself with.”
Skilton's Revolution VI atop the starting podium to the cheer of Dakar Rally fansDakar Rally has typically started with WRC-style gravel roads since moving to South America, but this year the ASO course designers headed straight for the coastal dunes at Necochea for a 57 kilometer special stage to start the 2012 rally.  Darren Skilton finished just one second behind 2010 champion Nasser Al-Attiyah and 9:51 behind the lead car when the times were tallied.  “To be honest the size of the dunes took me by surprise,” Skilton admitted.  “Skyler (Gambrell- Skilton’s navigator) and I just aired down the General Grabbers and had no problems staying on top of the sand.”  Then with the long liaison Skilton aired the Grabbers back up and made his way to Santa Rosa de la Pampa in comfort. Read More→
Skilton's Revolution VI atop the starting podium to the cheer of fans - DakarDarren Skilton has an addiction with Dakar that began over a decade ago.  Since that time he has become the United States representative for the race’s sanctioning body (ASO) and returned to the rally in a myriad of capacities including navigator, support driver, mechanic, and racer.  Last year Skilton and journalist Sue Mead won the Open Production class in a Ford Raptor shod with production General Grabber tires, but this year Skilton is looking to up the ante by jumping into the deep end of the pool, taking on heavy hitters such as Robby Gordon.  “Volkswagen’s departure from the rally really opens up the field to privateers like myself,” Skilton commented.  “I have a competitive car that has just been sitting and waiting for the right opportunity.  That opportunity has arrived.”   Read More→
  • General Tire partners with Baja Automotive for the December 29, 2011 – January 15, 2012 Dakar Rally.
  • Darren Skilton, Joaquin De Uriarte and Mark McMillin to pilot the entries.
  • All three entries will race on General’s Grabber tire across the rugged and unpredictable race course.

Fort Mill, SC – (December 21, 2011) General Tire is pleased to announce their partnership with Baja Automotive to sponsor three entries in the 2012 Dakar Rally. The event begins December 29, 2011 in Mar de Plata, Argentina and finishes January 15, 2012 in Lima, Peru, a pan-American adventure of more than 5,590 miles (or 9,000 kilometers). Darren Skilton will pilot an Unlimited car in the Open Production 1 (OP1) class while Joaquin De Uriarte and Mark McMillin will pilot a Raptor and JeepSpeed in the Open Production 2 (OP2) class respectively. Dakar is one of the world’s great adventures and a true test of the human spirit. This is simply the ultimate event that the General Tire Grabber has been designed and built for. Read More→

  • 2011 Dakar stretches across more than 5,500 miles of grueling terrain from Argentina to Chile
  • Renowned driver Darren Skilton, Hall of Fame automotive journalist Sue Mead and 4WD expert Tom Collins team up for the 2011 Dakar in their Team USA Ford F-150 Raptor featuring General Tires

Fort Mill, SC – (Dec. 24, 2010) – General Tire announced it will sponsor Team USA’s Darren Skilton, Sue Mead and Tom Collins at the 2011 Dakar Rally, which stretches across more than 5,500 miles of grueling terrain from Argentina to Chile Jan. 1st through 16th.  Darren Skilton will be unleashing the fury alongside co-drivers Mead, and Collins as they represent the USA in their Ford F-150 Raptor – fitted with General Grabber competition tires. Read More→