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News > International > King Shocks equipped Ford Raptor moves into lead at Dakar Rally
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King Shocks equipped Ford Raptor moves into lead at Dakar Rally

The Fab School, General Tire, Ford Raptor driven by the first female driver of record from the United States, Sue Mead and desert racing veteran Darren Skilton have now moved into the lead in the SCORE class during stage nine of the Dakar Rally. If you have been following the progress of Team Raptor USA, you know that Sue Mead and Darren Skilton have been practicing the old adage “in order to finish first, first you must finish”. The duo has been maintaining a fast, yet cautious pace; doing everything they can do to reduce navigation errors and the possibility of damaging the vehicle. The early frustrations of being passed by a number of cars each day have diminished as they have slowly climbed the leader board to first position in their class.

Darren Skilton, co-driver and team manager for the Dakar Ford Raptor team said, “We’ve lost a lot of vehicles in the past three days. It is very, very dangerous out there, especially when it gets dark. People are breaking, rolling, getting stuck, you can hear engines screaming as drivers try to push their vehicles to the limit. We had a rough time the other night. It was about 3a.m. and we’d been trying to make it to a waypoint when we ran into a dozen other teams doing the same thing. The problem was a really steep and loose dune no one could get over. There was no moon and we could not find a way around so we decided to sleep for a while. When we woke up, it was a mess; cars everywhere, a T4 rolled over nearby; it was just crazy.”

During the past year, many months were spent in preparation for this type of challenge. The team considered product selection very carefully. The Dakar Rally requires a huge commitment of time and money. If just one element is compromised or overlooked, it could mean the difference between winning, going home on a tow strap, or worse. Even with skilled and well-disciplined drivers like Sue and Darren, the day-to-day punishment of the Dakar Rally tests the strength of every part on their Ford Raptor. That’s why Team Raptor chose King Shocks. They knew nothing compared to the performance and durability that King Shocks provide. You don’t have to Race the Dakar Rally to take advantage of Kings superior damping control. King builds the same precision, quality and durable construction into every shock we make. When you ride on King Shocks you’ll know, there really is a difference. Nothing rides like a King.

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