After 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.
Skilton finished Special Stage 7 in 44th place, reaching the finish line as the sun was setting and avoiding the dangers of navigating through the dunes at night. “We lost a tire today and I had to replace it with a new General Grabber on a non-beadlocked Method Race Wheel,” navigator Skyler Gambrell explained. “I was concerned about losing the bead since we were running only six pounds of air in the dunes, but it wasn’t a problem.” Darren and Skyler now sit in third in the Open Production 1 class after their second best stage finish of the rally.
Skilton’s Baja Automotive team now enjoys a much-needed rest day as they prep the Revolution VI for the second half of the 2012 Dakar Rally. After burning up two fuel pumps on Saturday the team plans to redesign the fuel system with a high-volume, low-pressure pump feeding a sump tank for the new high-pressure fuel pumps. On Monday the team heads north through the hostile Atacama Desert on the way towards their final goal in Lima, Peru.
Darren Skilton would like to thank the following sponsors for their Dakar Rally support:
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About General Tire:
General Tire is “unleashing the fury” for a fifth season of off-road action with the Grabber competition tire. Designed with a tough, three-ply Duragen-reinforced body construction to stand up to the rigors of off-road conditions, the Grabber also features a specially-engineered, competition-specific tread compound. In addition, the Grabber name and General Tire logo are prominently featured on the sidewall in red and white letters. The Grabber competition tires are designed in size 37×12.50R17 for Class 8 and Trophy Truck/Trick Truck and 35×12.50R17 for Class 1, 6, 7, 7 S, Stock Mini and Protruck.
General Tire also has a complete line of Grabber tires for the passenger and light truck market, including the new Grabber DOT-approved off-road tire; the Grabber HTS, which delivers the perfect synergy of comfort, durability and performance; the Grabber UHP, which sets a whole new standard in performance and ride quality for SUVs, light trucks and crossover vehicles; and Grabber AT2, designed for aggressive all-terrain traction in all weather conditions. To stay up to date with Team GT and General Tire’s full line of products check out www.generaltire.com.