The New England Forest Rally (NEFR) kicks off in Newry, Maine next weekend on 20 July 2018. The Noble Star Rally Team will be attending with two cars piloted by Matthew Peterson and Amanda Skelly.
Peterson will be competing in his 1994 Honda Civic, which fans know as “Abe” and he will be joined by long term co-driver and teammate Lori Clute. This is Peterson’s sixth year attending the event.
“It’s no secret that NEFR is one of the most challenging rallies in the country and is quite punishing on cars. I think I’ve DNF’ed the event as many times as I have finished it. But the wonderful and loyal fans and stunning landscape make this one of my favorite rallies. Last year we were doing so well in spite of flats and I heard that we were actually up to third place when a sheared ball joint took us out on day 2. This year, Abe has a recently fresh engine and nearly all of the suspension components (hopefully) sorted. Some bravery and perhaps more than a little luck we are hoping for a good result” says Peterson.
Skelly will be returning with co-driver Jessica Beliveau in her 1997 Subaru Impreza, also known as “Stitch”. This will be the second event the two ladies have worked together, and Skelly’s fifth time attending NEFR.
“I am looking forward to working with Jess again. The car is running great and everything seems to be lining up very well this go around. It is certainly a big change from our attendance last year! The team pulled together and got the car running in just 3 short weeks, and we were still fixing things before Parc Expose on day 1. I embarrassingly admit we came to the event last year running basically on our own personal drives to just see the car on stage. WE were unprepared in many ways, exhausted with VERY little to no sleep, and no prior testing or idea about how the car would respond on stage,” states Skelly. “Stitch has gotten a complete overhaul since our attendance last year, with a full rebuild all the way back to the cage. The car has been running great this season so far, and we are looking forward to continue to grow experience as we continue competing”, she concludes.
Last year, Skelly and co-driver Elizabeth Cordara unofficially debuted Skelly’s new rally car, which was short lived after the girls experienced safety issues on day one, and catastrophic engine failure on day 2.Despite both teams difficulties, they are optimistic about the event this season and are hoping for positive results.
The Noble Star Rally team is recognized for their attendance at various rally events over the past seven seasons, as well as their ability to press on regardless in some of the most extreme conditions, both in and out of the woods.
Recently the team experienced the loss of a member, 18 year old Tyler Wendorf, who assisted father Ryan Davis [Skelly’s crew chief] and the team during the build of Skelly’s car over the past year. Wendorf succumbed to injuries sustained from a skateboarding accident just a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, he was not wearing a helmet when he fell. The family is raising money for local skateparks to require skaters to wear helmets and raising awareness for safety. Some decals will be available during Parc Expose to show support #HelmetsForTyler.