Darren Skilton and the Baja Automotive team will bring the single seat Honda V6 powered Pilot out one more time to the grueling 46th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. The unique Pilot, built by Darren and the Fab School’s Troy Johnson was built for double-duty. It was designed to race to the clouds in the Pikes Peak hill climb and to compete in Class 7200 in the SCORE Desert Series.
Class 7200 rules are simple. The vehicle must resemble a production vehicle, have a track width not to exceed 87 inches and be powered by an engine with no more than six cylinders. Most of the trucks competing in the class are heavier with the engine in front and a solid axle in the rear. Darren’s Honda is a lightweight mid-engine design with independent rear suspension. The independent rear suspension provides substantial ground clearance and the Powerful HPD (Honda Performance Development) modified 3.5 liter V6 production based engine gives the truck an incredible power to weight ratio. With top quality components from Honda, General Tire, Baja Designs, King Shocks, Method Race Wheels, Sunoco Race Fuels and TCS the combination has been proven successful with a win at the Baja 500 in 2012 and a fourth place finish in last year’s peninsula run at the Baja 1000.
The Baja 1000 course this year is an arduous loop race that covers 883 miles of the toughest terrain the peninsula has to offer. It’s a very tough course with many new sections that are difficult to chase and support. The Baja Automotive team will have four support trucks manned by a core group that has been racing together for eight years. Their goal is to assist Darren in winning his 7th Baja 1000 class win. Darren plans to drive the race solo but has desert racer and Dakar Rally veteran Skyler Gambrell as a confirmed back-up driver just in case.
“This course is well suited to our Honda,” says Darren, “The Pilot is lightweight, maneuverable and extremely fast. On the narrow, twisty mountain passes we will have a significant advantage over the bigger heavier trucks in class 7200.”
Darren and the Baja Automotive team will be relying on their years of racing experience to achieve victory in their Honda Pilot November 12-17 in Ensenada, Mexico at the 46th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
Photography By Brian Binkert
About Darren Skilton
Darren Skilton has achieved a long and impressive list of racing successes. He has six driving championships and numerous victories in the most prestigious events in the world including the Baja 1000, Baja 500 and the Dakar Rally. He won the incredibly demanding Baja 2000 in the year 2000. Darren has been a racer and off road guide for nearly half his life. He speaks three languages; English, French and Spanish and is an experienced world traveler who has lived in England, Spain, France, Mexico and the United States. When not racing he enjoys riding dirt bikes, adventure travel and Skiing. In addition to the knowledge he has gained traveling the world he has a political science degree from California State University at Fullerton.
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