Archive for Darren Skilton

General Tire Mint 400 Rewind

Thursday, March 29th, 2012
  • Darren Skilton captures Class 3700 win on General Tires.
  • With the help of Mikey Childress, Rick D. Johnson takes first annual pit crew challenge win.
  • Vanessa Golub-Ferrara crowned 2012 Miss Mint.
  • Bureau of Land Management estimated a crowd of over 25,000 spectators.

Mint 400Fort Mill, SC – March 29, 2012. In front of an estimated crowd of over 25,000 fans, Team GT took to the south Las Vegas desert for the 2012 General Tire Mint 400 over the weekend. The weekend kicked off with the first annual pit crew competition won by none other than Team GT member Rick D. Johnson. With the help of Mikey Childress, Johnson posted a time of just under one minute to beat out General Tire team member Jason Voss for the win. The following night, General Tire helped crown 2012 Miss Mint winner, Vanessa Golub-Ferrara. A fantastic start to the weekend which saw a harsh desert claim many victims throughout the 400-mile race. 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→