Fort Mill, SC – (December 21, 2011) General Tire is pleased to announce their partnership with Baja Automotive to sponsor three entries in the 2012 Dakar Rally. The event begins December 29, 2011 in Mar de Plata, Argentina and finishes January 15, 2012 in Lima, Peru, a pan-American adventure of more than 5,590 miles (or 9,000 kilometers). Darren Skilton will pilot an Unlimited car in the Open Production 1 (OP1) class while Joaquin De Uriarte and Mark McMillin will pilot a Raptor and JeepSpeed in the Open Production 2 (OP2) class respectively. Dakar is one of the world’s great adventures and a true test of the human spirit. This is simply the ultimate event that the General Tire Grabber has been designed and built for.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Baja Automotive for the Dakar Rally again,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing, General Tire. “General’s Grabber tire was born from competition and we feel the arduous terrain of the Dakar Rally is a perfect testament to what this tire is capable of. Darren drove a Ford Raptor outfitted with General Grabber’s to the Class win in OP2 last year and the tire performed superbly, so we look forward to adding to our win record in 2012. We wish Darren (Skilton), Joaquin (De Uriarte) and Mark (McMillin) the best of luck as they embark on the ultimate adventure.”

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.

Charlotte, NC –Robby Gordon’s Team SPEED and Toyo Tires® are returning to compete in the 2012 Dakar Rally in force.  This year, two of Robby Gordon’s specially built HUMMER H3 racers will compete for the overall win.  Gordon will drive his bright orange #303 SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires entry; while defending 2011 Dakar winner, Nasser Al-Attiyah, joins the team to pilot the #300 Qatar HUMMER H3 racer.  The race vehicles rely on Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires to deliver off-road performance and durability.

Team SPEED and Toyo Tires are no strangers to Dakar.  Gordon and Toyo Tires first competed in the Dakar in 2006.  Together they showed their capabilities with a Stage 6 win and an Open Class victory in the 2007 Dakar, and then scored their highest finish, a third overall, in the 2009 Dakar.  That year, the HUMMER was the only two-wheel-drive vehicle to finish in the top ten, proving the capabilities of the team and the Open Country M/T-R tires.

“Toyo Tires and I have worked hard over the years to develop a tire combination that is right for the HUMMER,” said Gordon.  “Their team has put a lot of effort into making a Toyo tire that is tough, durable and ready for the Dakar Rally.  It has good grip and can sustain the varying terrain, from sand to slick gravel roads to hard rocky areas.  I look forward to getting out there and racing on it.”

For the 2012 Dakar, Robby Gordon will be joined in the cockpit by multiple Baja 1000 winner and off-road legend, Johnny Campbell.  Campbell will serve as navigator in the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HUMMER, guiding the vehicle through challenging terrain on this 14-day, and nearly 6,000-mile Pan-American odyssey.  The 2012 Dakar starts on New Year’s Day on the East coast of Argentina in Mar Del Plata.  It will cross over the Andes of Chile and then finish on South America’s West Coast in Lima, Peru.

“Dakar is the most challenging off-road endurance race on the planet and is a true test of both man and equipment,” said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “We are proud to have Toyo Tires represented by these off-road champions. The Open Country M/T-R is the perfect tire to lead them to their goal of winning the 2012 Dakar.”

To follow the team’s journey to compete in the upcoming Dakar, and for updated race team coverage, log onto www.speedenergy.com and www.toyotires.com. Fans can also participate in the Dakar experience by connecting with the community at www.facebook.com/thespeedenergydrink, www.facebook.com/toyotires, www.twitter.com/speed_energy and www.twitter.com/toyotires.