Oct 31st California U.S.A.

January 2012 Dakar Rally Argentina, Chile and Peru.

Mark McMillin teams up with Darren Skilton & Jeepspeed .

Jeepspeed is proud to announce that 5 time Baja 1000 winner and Trophy Truck driver Mark McMillin is participating in the 2012 Dakar Rally at the wheel of the Jeepspeed 2007 Australian Safari Rally Stock Class winning Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Darren Skilton’s Baja Automotive are in the final stages of prepping the Hemi powered Jeep prior to shipment to South America together with spares and support vehicles.

Mark contacted U.S. Dakar representative, Skilton, earlier this year asking how best to view this world famous all terrain rally. Darren’s response ended up with Mark and navigator Gary Arnold signing up to compete with the Jeep.
This Jeep will be entered in Dakar Open Production 2 Class competing against such vehicles as Toyota Tundras and Ford Raptors. It will provide Mark with the opportunity for a OP2 class win in the world’s toughest race.
Its Argentina-Chile-Peru.

Imagine driving 14 Baja 500 races in 14 days!
As the condor (rather than the crow) flies, almost 5,000 kilometres separate Mar del Plata, Argentina from Lima, Peru. In 2012, the Dakar will be staging a pan-American adventure of more than 9,000 kilometres in total. Unlike previous year’s loops, the route will transport the rally from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to those of the Pacific, enabling its competitors to discover new lands and another aspect of South America. The scale of this challenge has also led to a change in the race’s format, which will include 14 days of racing in 2012. Constantly guided by the Andes Mountain range, the drivers and riders will be crossing the Atacama, and will experience in particular the diversity of the dunes as they head into Peru.

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Yep there has been talk about this for the past few weeks. I guess they have been testing and learning how to read and navigate using Dakar road books. There is a guy here in the states that has raced Dakar on bikes and makes Dakar rally road books that use Parker, Yuma and Glamis as routes. Darren Skilton uses these books for training his teams.

Here is Darren's Dakar Jeep facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dakar-Jeep-Team/226909360703978#!/pag...

This is the Jeep they will be racing


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...no thanks.....looks like a boat anchor.

Any word on RG's endevor yet?
Is that an automatic transmission??
Quite a change for Mark...bummer.
looks good .......for taking the kids to soccer.
I talked to the owner (cant remember his name) of Freedom Motorcycles in Kansas City about Dakar. He did it as a privateer on a KTM, and had some great stories about the Dakar and of RG. That Jeep does not look like it would even survive the Baja 500, let alone Dakar.
Maybe this Jeep is in bad shape. However, Is Jeep using this as a learing tool to build a better one for next year? I am not sure why Robby is not teamed up with Jeep, but, I would have much rather seen the Hummer rebadged as a Jeep than Jeep entering Dakar with another driver.
dont think it has any factory jeep support.
There are multiple classes in Dakar, just like in our desert racing. This Jeep Cherokee races in the stock production class. This is not competing against the 2 and 4 wheel drive unlimited vehicles like Robby's Hummer does. Jeep is not using this as a learning tool, as there is no real factory support for this team. There have been many Jeeps used in the production classes in the past. I believe this Jeep was used in a past Dakar.

Derren Skilton has been involved with Dakar way before RG got involved. Darren was hired by RG' to be his navigator the first year RG tried Dakar with his own team. (Jim Beam Hummer) Anyways Darren has worked with JeepSpeed and has built a nice stock production team that they rent out to people who want to take on Dakar but need guidance.

Last year Darren worked with Sue Mead a female American Driver who had bought a Ford Raptor and had some of the local race shops like the Fab School build her a Dakar race truck. Sue hired Darren to be her team manager and navigate for her. Sue and Darren won the 2011 Dakar open production class. This win made Sue the first American to win Dakar and the first women to win in the open production class.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dakar-Ford-Raptor/111175018951606?sk=...
yeah, seriously doubt any Jeep factory support is involved.
Yeah my guess is because this is part of the JeepSpeed program they are probably getting some spare factory replacement parts from Jeep/Mopar, like transmissions, axles, suspension parts ect.. but my guess is that is it. Mark's connection with BFG will probably get them some sort of tire deal. But overall I am hearing this is a Arrive and Drive program for Mark McMillin.
interesed to see how long the Mopar transmissions last.

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