It has been long awaited by Noble Star Rally (NSR) fans for the announcement of the direction of team owner and driver Amanda Skelly’s return to the driver’s seat after having to retire her rally car earlier in 2015. Skelly’s 98 Subaru and fan favorite “Sassy” has begun to be torn down, while the new car is currently being assembled.
The team is excited to announce that Skelly will remain in the GC style chassis, continuing to compete in the Open Lite classes for NASA RallySport and Rally America events. The vehicle is another 1998 Subaru Impreza Coupe, that they refer to as “Panda”.
The official debut of the car and it’s new modification and livery is scheduled for the 2016 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) in Wellsboro, PA on June 3rd and 4th. Skelly is anticipating a shakedown of the new car at the Sandblast Rally in Cheraw, SC on March 5th, provided the team can finish assembly in time; where she will be joined by Liz Cordara of RallyCats Moterspurtz, making them the only all female team.
“Our original plan to debut the car earlier this season just was not going to be possible with all of the obstacles we were facing on a personal level”, says Skelly who is working towards completing her Masters Degree in April, which results in her spending an upwards of 70 hours per week at work and at her internship. “Time is not always on our side, and this semester is not one of them.”
Cage and body work were done by NSR driver Matt Peterson at Pro Comp Customs in PA. The car arrived back home in MI just last weekend and the team is working around the clock to finish assembling the car in time for the event in just two and a half weeks. “I have really enjoyed getting to work and spend time with Matt and having him teach me again. It brought back a lot of memories of when we first built Sassy in 2011 and was my favorite part of the build. He is crazy talented and I am VERY fortunate to have him help with Panda. I am looking forward to going back to finish the paint and livery with him!” concludes Skelly.
If the car can be completed in time for Sandblast, the team reminds fans that the event stands as a shakedown for the new car and will not reflect it’s official build and livery until STPR. In between the two events, the car will be receiving a decent overhaul with various modifications including a new engine build, custom wiring, paint, and some upgraded suspension.
“There is a great deal going into the new car and I honestly don’t know what I would do without all the awesome help from some of our crew members like Justin, Levi, Aaron and Dan; not to mention everyone that has been helping from a distance to provide insight and information. I am also really excited because Whiteline has agreed to sponsor me for the season and the car will be receiving some upgraded suspension and all new quality bushings before STPR” adds Skelly.
To follow the team and see build updates follow them here: