RalyGrl, O RalyGrl, Where Have You Been?
Updated: Mar 18, 2020
The 2019 season has gotten off to a very exciting and busy start, and with a small break in between events, I was given the opportunity to work for Subie Events, LLC, which is host to some of the largest Subaru events in the country!
This year kicked off in the bitter cold of winter up here in northern Michigan, where I returned to my home rally - Sno*Drift in Atlanta, MI. The roads were beautifully snow covered and we faced many challenges with subzero temperatures. (I think it is genuinely safe to say Stitch prefers the south!) Shortly after that, my new co-driver Sarah Freeze and I advertured out to Idaho where we had our first experience with professional rally training working with world renowned co-drivers Alessandro and Rhianon Gelsomino of Oz RallyPro. Here, we spent 2 days learning the ins and outs of writing our own pace notes from scratch, as well as how to utilize our time more effectively before, during and post rally events.
A week after our training, we made our debut as a team during the 2019 Sandblast Rally in Cheraw, SC. To our surprise, we landed our first podium together, finishing 3rd in the AWD Light class, and 4th overall in both the Overall AWD Class and Overall rally. It was our first rally together, Sarah’s very first time co-driving and we set the bar pretty high for ourselves for the season. Just two weeks following Sandblast, we were headed down to Salem, Missouri for the 100 Acre Wood Rally, which was our first American Rally Association (ARA) event together. We had the honor and privilege of meeting rally legend (aka Rally Jesus) Petter Solberg, and competing in the very same rally his son Oliver would debut his rally career in the States.
After several weeks of traveling back to back, only a few days in between spent at home and with our families, we finally had a moment to breathe this spring. When I say breathe… I mean, stop hyperventilating and instead just have small asthmatic attacks instead (HA!- See what I did there?). In March, I made some pretty hefty decisions and my life really began to change. In April, I was hired on as the Vendor Relations and Sponsorship Manager for Subie Events, LLC and I made my first trip out to Denver, CO to meet my new team and to get accustomed with my new job position. While still working full-time as a nanny, I took on this opportunity because of my passion for the Subaru brand and my desire to help our events grow.
May was Lupus Awareness Month, so I shared bits and pieces of my own journey on my Instagram Story, and shared facts about the incurable illness with the public. We also made it out to Hyperfest 2019, which took place at the Virginia International Raceway from 17-19 May, where we brought Stitch out and I gave rally rides to attendees for most of the day. That is, until I broke my rear differential (oops)! Stitch was fixed in time to attend Boxerfest thanks to Ryan, Steven and Addi at TurboTime. Which, by the way, I just attended and completed my first Subie Events festival - Boxerfest, which took place in York, PA and I loved every crazy minute of it! Stitch was in attendance at the Link ECU/TurboTime booth and received a lot of love. Sarah, too, joined in and will be helping out at future events- including Wicked Big Meet, which takes place this coming Sunday at the Stafford Motor Speedway in CT.
Now that summer is finally underway, our portion of the rally season is kicking back up in full swing next month, with our return to the New England Forest Rally in Newry, Maine on 20-21 July. I am also excited to announce that I will be receiving a day of training in Stitch at the Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park (FIRM) just before our season kicks back off! Stay tuned as I begin to recap our 2019 season and adventures!
UPCOMING EVENTS: 7/20-21 New England Forest Rally (NEFR) Newry, ME
8/10 “Race Car Day” @ High Octane Cafe
8/18 2019 Woodward Dream Cruise - Royal Oak, MI
8/23-24 Ojibwe Forests Rally
Detroit Lakes, MN
9/13-14 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) Wellsboro, PA
10/18-19 Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR) - Houghton, MI
11/23 Subiefest Florida - SUN 'n FUN Expo - Lakeland, FL