Another One in the Books for Noble Star Rally
The Noble Star Rally (NSR) Team added another successful event to their resume at last weekend's New England Forest Rally (NEFR) in Newry, ME. The team arrived with two cars piloted by NSR drivers Amanda Skelly (#853) and Matt Peterson (#253). Skelly returned to NEFR after a two year break on gravel due to the retirement of her previous Subaru. This event accounted for her 25th stage rally.
Skelly was joined by co-driver Elizabeth (Liz) Cordara, representing the only all female team for the weekend amongst X teams. The girls piloted a purple ribbon covered Subaru, the Broken Motorsports rally rental Subaru, which they competed in earlier this year. The team set out to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a progressive genetic lung disease that affects more than 30,000 people in the United States; one of those individuals includes NSR’s own Ian Kessler, who was well enough to attend the event and join Peterson last minute.
“Our original goal was to be able to raise awareness and money for CF and also to be able to assist with rental fees to get us to the event. In just 2 weeks, we had set out to try and cover the car in 300 ribbons. We ended up with 237 and could not have been happier!” say Cordara.
In addition to covering the Subaru in purple ribbons, several ribbons were placed on Peterson’s Civic to support the cause.
“We are a team, racing for the same thing, so we make sure to support one another. It was pretty cool to see the fender decorated to support our teams CF warrior and to surprise Ian with it” says crew member Justin Robinson.
Kessler was not the only CF’er to compete in the event. Sam Miller, who piloted the Kitty Smiles Fiesta (#303), also battles Cystic Fibrosis. The two were able to meet after Miller reached out to the team in 2015.
“It is rare enough to know one person with CF, let alone two, and then to have both of them who enjoy rally is just something special! Sam reached out to us last year when we were raising awareness for CF during the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) and had been hoping to meet Ian at NEFR. Unfortunately, we were unable to attend at the time, so it was great to be back this year and see the guys actually have a chance to meet” adds Skelly.
Peterson and Kessler competed in Matt’s 1994 Honda Civic competing against X competitors in the G2 class. The guys encountered a few computer issues with the Civic over the weekend, but were able to get the car running smoother after a few software updates. The biggest challenge the team struggled with was their intercoms, leaving Kessler without much of a voice at the end of the event.
"I love the event and am glad I was able to participate! It was challenging and exciting from start to finish with breathtaking views the whole way. It was great seeing rally family again and meeting Sam as well" says Kessler.
The guys finished in 6th place on Saturday and 17th overall for the regional competition, and the girls finished 5th in Open Lite and 13th overall in regional.
“Amanda and Liz had a scary moment on stage, they rotated at the finish and de-beaded a tire. Luckily, we had learned our lesson from the flat we got on day 1 and were carrying a quick jack and lots of tools, so we stopped to rescue them in transit to service, providing the supplies they needed to get their tire changed quickly and avoid penalty. As a team we pulled together and each had a respectable performance”, concludes Peterson.
2016 Sponsors: Whiteline, Turtle Gloves, BRAID Wheels USA, Team Illuminata Motorsports, Slow Sally's Stickers & Things, LINK ECU.
Team: Noble Star Rally
2nd & 3rd Images: Amanda Skelly 4th Image: Bill Sawyer