The Noble Star Rally (NSR) team will be taking to the stages this weekend at the 2015 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally in Wellsboro, PA on June 5 and 6. Driving for the team will be #453, Ian Kessler in his 1989 Chevy Cavalier “Tank”, and #253, Matt Peterson in his 1994 Honda Civic “Abe”. However, driver and NSR team founder, Amanda Skelly, will be taking on a new role at this year’s event.
“Unfortunately, I will not be competing with Sassy anymore this season”, says team owner and driver Amanda Skelly, “But the good news is, I will be joining Ian again in the silly seat!” Skelly has competed as a driver at STPR consistently since 2012, but she has recently retired her open lite Subaru due to severe rust. “The car just isn’t safe anymore and at this point it isn’t something worth trying to salvage. It is bittersweet, but we’ve had a good run and I am really excited to debut our next build later this summer”, concludes Skelly. STPR will be Amanda’s fourth event as a co-driver.
Peterson will be joined by novice co-driver and NSR crew member Andrew Tuten. Tuten and Peterson competed together for the first time during the 2015 Sno*Drift Rally earlier this year in January.
“SnoDrift was an absolute blast and I'm looking forward to going faster, communicating stronger, and having even more fun!” adds Tuten.
After a challenging event for the team last year, Kessler and Peterson both have goals of crossing the
finish line. On stage 11, Peterson and Kessler were making a good pace until they hit the loose gravel. Several areas of the stages at STPR are equivalent to driving on marbles, which is where the two found themselves sliding wide in the turn.
“I remember telling Matt ‘you’re good, you’re good’, and then we slid off the embankment and into a tree. He asked me if I was okay and I looked out my window to see nothing but dirt and told him that we’d have to go out his side,” laughs Kessler. This year, Peterson has three goals for the rally, “First, big air on the Waste Management jump. Second, to only use the bottom side of my car this time (unless not doing so gets me around a turn faster),” jokes Peterson, “Lastly, to finish well. As always, a fourth goal of mine if to have a great time with my rally family!”
STPR will serve as Kessler’s first Rally America event as a driver. He has driven at Black River Stages in both 2013 and 2014, and has co-driven for Skelly, Peterson and Ryan Wilcox. Kessler, who battles Cystic Fibrosis, is looking forward to the event. “I’m excited to drive another challenging event, noted for lack of cars at the finish” he concludes.
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Sponsored and Supported By: ProComp Custom, BRAID Wheels USA, AntPack Rally, Turtle Gloves, Grimmspeed, SyntheticEngine.org, SurivalGearBags.com, NASIOC, Impression Center, Type High Letterpress, Rally Innovations, Detroit Region SCCA, Team O'Neil Rally School, Driving Sports TV & All Wheels Driven.
photo 1: Lori Lass
photo 2: Wendy Snyder
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