Noble Star Rally Supports Three Teams at New England Forest Rally
A three-car fleet encompassed in an array of lime green took to the stages of the 2013 New England Forest Rally, held in Newry, Maine this past weekend. The Noble Star Rally (NSR) team led by driver Amanda Skelly and co-driver Derrick Rudisel of Michigan welcomed aboard two new teams to their family. Novice driver Matthew Peterson of Elizabeth, PA and co-driver Matthew Campbell of Rochester, MI in a 1994 Honda Civic #253, and tarmac driver Brian McNamara of Norfolk, CT and co-driver Amber Stacy of Towson, MD joined NSR for the New England Forest Rally.
Peterson is a long time crewmember of NSR who assisted Skelly in the original design of her rally car and Campbell has previously done photography for the team. “Matt Squared” as the team referred to them, gave the event a good run as the Civic encountered various issues including a dead battery, cracked oil pan, destroyed skid plate, broken exhaust, bad alternator, and failed fuel and brake lines.
"This was our first Stage rally event with a newly built car, so we knew that anything could go wrong. Our crew is great and through hard work we overcame many obstacles and kept the car going as long as we could. Even though one of the most challenging rallies in the country really lived up to it's reputation and found the weak points in the car for us, we had a blast and will definitely return to NEFR next year," says Peterson.
After a cracked oil pan ended their first day in a DNF, the Matt’s were up and running and ready for day two. The team made it through the first three stages, but their attempts to finish ended due to some massive rocks, ripped off the rear skid plate along with the fuel tank straps resulting in the tank being dragged by the car. "It's unfortunate considering our comeback and the fact that we were really starting to clique, but that's rally,” added Campbell. McNamara faced his own troubles on day two of the rally. The weekend began with a smooth ride along the stages when McNamara and Stacy secured second in class and 7th overall amongst the regional competitors.
However, day two brought many challenges for all three drivers. McNamara encountered exhaust issues, a broken rear strut and cracked rotor. A late arrival to check in after service resulted in a loss of his second place position during the rally, but he managed to salvage a 3rd place podium finish. "It was a fantastic rally and we can't wait to face the stages again next year,” said McNamara. Between the two NSR newcomer’s damages, it was surprising to the crew to find Skelly’s car in the best shape. “We were putting down some good times until we had a rock slice through the sidewall of our front passenger tire. I tried pushing as far as we could, but about two miles from the finish we had to pull over and swap the tire after it separated from the wheel completely, which also caused the control arm to dent as well,” commented Skelly.
The afternoon continued to present challenges for Skelly and Rudisel as their exhaust fell off during transit to stage 8 and their spare set of tires did not provide much extra traction on the loose gravel. “If it was not for McNamara loaning us two of his DMACK’s, I think it would have been difficult to regain our confidence level,” says Skelly, as she put down the third fasted time in her class on stage 12. Even though only two of the three NSR cars finished the event, the entire team could be found smiling and laughing about the day’s challenges and events. The trio can be spotted again during the 2013 Black River Stages held in New York at the end of September. To read more about the team and their experience at the New England Forest Rally, check them out online here at: www.facebook.com/NobleStarRally or www.NobleStarRally.com
2013 SPONSORS: C3MB Rally Sport Rentals, Prismatic Powders, SyntheticEngine.org, ARP Customz, Ainove LLC, Grimmspeed, Rally Grafix, SafeDrives.com, Ken’s Body Shop, Dirty Impreza.com, Straight to the Point Directional Drilling.