Starting from a low position of 126, over the past seven days of racing and across nearly 3,300 miles, the duo has cut that number in half. The two have been sharing driving duties, swapping as driver and navigator on alternate days. For stage seven, they traded positions mid-day.
“I felt really bad because I got us stuck on a sand ridge and it cost us time,” says Mead. “Darren, though, is such an amazing coach and teammate. He keeps his cool no matter what seems to be happening.”
She goes on to note that “his navigation is perfect, and as a driver, Darren has a constant awareness of his surroundings and knows how far he can push the car – and us. We got hi-centered again later when Darren was driving. He didn’t get upset or frustrated; he just got out and dealt with it. When it comes to racing, he is a true professional.”The pair arrived at the bivouac around 9 p.m. Saturday and were strapping into the Raptor at 6:30 a.m. Sunday. Stage eight will take the duo inland, back through the Atacama Desert and 480 miles to the south.
U.S. driver Mark Miller lost some ground on Sunday, but remains in sixth place overall in the automotive class, two-hours-and-thirteen-minutes behind the leader. Motorcycle riders Quinn Cody and Jonah Street held on to 11th and 14th positions in the Moto Class.