Dakar 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.
Now that the first Dakar stage is under the tires, Skilton is pleased. “I am very happy with my team composition and how my car performed. A strong start builds confidence and allows us to save our energy for the challenges that await.” Stage 2 of the Dakar Rally brings another long liaison to Nihuil, where Skilton and Gambrell will race through even larger sand dunes in Nihuil. These black dunes were the demise of Nasser Al-Attiyah in 2009 and pose an even bigger challenge than those on the first stage. “While my Revolution VI is only two-wheel drive, the floatation offered by the General Grabbers when aired down on the Method beadlocks gives us an advantage over the restricted four-wheel drive cars.”
Darren Skilton would like to thank the following sponsors for their Dakar Rally support:
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Dunes Image by Maindru Photo
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.