Noble Star Rally Team Finishes Olympus Rally & Receives The Noble Way Award!
Noble Star Rally completed their first full Rally America Regional Championship season with a first ever Olympus Rally finish with Amanda Skelly behind the wheel and Derrick Rudisel as co-driver. It was an emotional finish for the team who overcame multiple DNF’s from prior rallies and learned how to strengthen their 2.2L engine to survive the notoriously difficult Olympus Rally held on September 22-23rd just outside Olympia, WA.
“It couldn’t have been a better rally to have our first full finish. Tag Rally Sport was integral in us getting through the race," said driver Amanda Skelly. "They gave us service space and helped make sure our car was in top condition. This is something we will carry on with us forever."
Upon their arrival the team immediately experienced challenges with their car. Heading to technical inspection the crew discovered threads protruding through the gravel tire tread and the tires were deemed unsafe. To their surprise, three sets of gravel tires were donated to the team, and the tires did the job getting them safely through the loose gravel stages. Skelly and Rudisel then concentrated on keeping the car in one piece through blinding dust that inhibited their speed, but the two were happy with their rhythm and improvements in teamwork inside the rally car.
Crew member Joshua Pembleton joked, “It’s nice when the car is doing great. But Amanda didn’t give us anything to do in service. We changed the rear brakes at service on Saturday because we were bored.”
The Rochester Hills, MI based team made the cross country trek to continue Matthew Noble Marker’s vision of building a substantial grassroots rally racing community. Marker tragically passed at last year’s Olympus Rally in a rally racing accident, and the Noble Star Rally Team vowed to carry his vision. The team has since supported multiple grassroots rally teams with mechanical expertise and service area space allowing teams to more easily compete.
“Matthew definitely made his presence known and everything about the event was completely unforgettable,” said Skelly.
At the Olympus Rally awards ceremony the Noble Star Rally team and a few members from SubaRoots Rally including Barrett Dash, Jennifer Majszak, Jessica Simpson and Marker’s sister, Kali Vasquez took the stage with Rally America’s J.B. Niday to present The Noble Way Award in honor of former rally driver Matthew Noble Marker. The first Noble Way Award was given to a surprised Amanda Skelly. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Noble Way Award” says Vasquez.
“I think I am still in shock about the award and the event. It has been nothing short of absolutely amazing” concludes Skelly.
The Olympus Rally is the farthest event for the Noble Star Rally Team, which spread resources thin. After 5,800 miles traveled and a first ever finish at Olympus the team feels satisfied with the result. Noble Star Rally Team looks forward to their 2013 season and continuing Marker’s grassroots mantra.
Noble Star Rally would like to thank their 2012 sponsors: TAG Rally, SubaRoots Rally, ARP Customz, Ken’s Body Shop, Ainove Inc, MHS, Safe Drives, Japanese-Creations, SytheticEngine.org, 31 Motorsports, TRF, TIM, DiscoveryParts.com, Impression Center and the Subaru contingency program. NSR would also like to thank their family, friends and fans for the phenomenal support; as well as Rally America and the Olympus Rally organizers and volunteers for making this event possible and helping NSR to be able to compete and attend the rally.
To learn more about the team and their upcoming events follow them on Facebook at:
You can also continue to help support NSR by visiting their online store at: http://www.ainove.com/shop
Photo 2: Alex Wong