2010 Fab School Ford SVT Raptor takes on 2011 Dakar Rally with First American Female Driver
The 2010 "Fab School" Ford SVT Raptor Super Cab is the vehicle of choice for professional off-road racer Darren Skilton and journalist Sue Mead as they prep for the arduous 2011 Dakar Rally in January 2011.
Skilton, a seasoned Dakar Rally pro, at first expressed reservations about the Raptor: "I was at first concerned about the weight overpowering the suspension in the really rough sections. Ford did their homework and the Raptor is quite possibly the best 'stock' out of the box racers I have driven. It is surprisingly nimble while remaining solid in overall feel. It does everything you ask it to do."
Mead, who will be the first American female driver to participating in the grueling event, had no such doubts, stating, "When I thought about racing the 2011 Dakar Rally, my first choice of a vehicle to drive was the Ford Raptor. I had put a lot of miles on it and loved what SVT had done to this performance version of the F-150." Mead continued." I'm so amazed at the high-quality work of The FabSchool team. And with Darren having completed in the Dakar a number of times, I have the utmost confidence in him and our goal to finish. The combination is a dream come true."
The Raptor spent a solid eight weeks at - where else? -- The Fab School, a private occupational/vocational trade school, in Riverside, California, in preparation for Dakar. The school has provided little detail on its Raptor's modification. While stock Raptors come equipped with 5.4-liter 3V Triton V-8, The Fab School Raptor most likely is powered by the optional 6.2-liter V-8 which generates 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come equipped with six-speed automatics.
The 2011 Dakar Rally begins on January 1st, 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and last through the 16th. Contestants will not only have to contend crossing the Andes mountain range twice, but navigate the Atacama Desert, one of the harshest deserts on Earth, to complete the 3000 mile trek. To keep the The Fab School Raptor running, Crew Chief Troy Johnson, owner and operator of The FabSchool, mechanic Dan Moore, and media manager Chris Collard will be in attendance as well.
Source: Adventure Architects Photography