“Gasoline” and “Gravity” hope to propel two Kia Sportages to victory in Best In The Desert’s Nevada 2000, A Race Into The Millennium. Three-time SCORE Class 3 champion Darren “Gasoline” Skilton and extreme skier Glen “Gravity” Plake will each pilot a Sportage across 2,000 miles of the Silver State beginning July 9 and finishing July 14. Along the way, the duo will encounter varying climates and terrain, looping from Las Vegas to Reno and crossing the finish line back in Las Vegas.

(Photo: www.newscom.com)

Skilton has driven the Sportage to a championship every year in every series in which he’s competed. That includes SCORE Class 3 titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and a Best In The Desert Class 3000 title in 1998. Additionally, he drove the Sportage to a respectable 56th place finish out of 138 competitors in the Paris-Dakar-Cairo 2000.

“This race around Nevada will be unlike any other we’ve done before in America,” Skilton said. “It’s similar in style to the Dakar rally because there are no chase vehicles or pit areas. I think that will be somewhat of an advantage for our team.”

Plake has been skiing professionally for the past 10 years. While snow has been Plake’s life, his summers have been left to explore another passion: car racing. The internationally known skier took up dirt track racing and won the Nevada State Dirt Track Championship his rookie year. He and Skilton met in 1998, and they have been off-road racing together since.

“After being a co-driver for Kia for the past two years I’m stoked to get behind the wheel and make my debut in such a challenging race,” Plake said. “Two thousand miles is one sure way to break in.”

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Kia Motors America is the U.S. sales, marketing and service arm of Kia Motors Corp. in Seoul, South Korea.