After a 3 year absence, Noble Star Rally driver Amanda “RalyGrl” Skelly will return to Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta and Lewiston, MI on 25-26 January, 2019. She will be joined by seasoned co-driver Amy Feistel. Sno*Drift is the season opener for the 2019 American Rally Association (ARA) National Championship, which is comprised of 9 National Events. Taking place in northern Michigan, Sno*Drift is considered one of the more challenging rallies of the season with conditions varying from snow, ice, and mud. Skelly and Feistel will be competing amid a 30-car lineup in their 1997 Subaru Impreza, known as “Stitch”.
Skelly and Feistel competed together during the 2014 New England Forest Rally (NEFR) in Skelly’s old ‘98 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS. Since then, Feistel has competed in 5 events including Rally China Longyou in 2015. While Feistel took a hiatus from co-driving to focus on family and career, she is eager to get back into a car again.
“I am looking forward to competing with Amanda Skelly at Sno*Drift Rally and am gearing up for the challenges offered by the Sno*Drift stages and Michigan weather. Amanda is a skillful driver with impressive results. It is an honor to step back into competition with the team as Amanda launches a year of national competition,” states Feistel.
Feistel was first introduced to rally while crewing at the Rapidan Rally in 2001. Shortly after, she jumped into the navigator’s seat for a series of TSD rallies, honing her precision navigation skills. After completing several brisk TSDs, including night and sand events, she competed at her first full-speed, gravel rally, the Maine Forest Rally, in 2003. This successful venture lead to a series of events in which Amy competed, navigating for international drivers.
Last season, Skelly debuted her new rally car and took 2nd place Overall Driver and 2nd Place Driver in the AWD Class within the 2018 NASA RallySport RallySprint Series. She has been improving performance consistency, speed, and driving in the normally aspirated (NA) 4WD Subaru. This year will be the first year Skelly competes as a National Competitor. The women make up one of two all-female teams at the Sno*Drift joining Michigan natives Marianna Usher and Emily Schumacher at the event.
“I am really excited to return to my home rally. It’s always a bit of a nostalgic event because it is where I was introduced to the sport of rally and it’s where I competed for the first time,” says Skelly. “Our goal for this rally is to gain some seat-time in the car and just drive a clean, consistent event. With it being the very first event of the season, and with my plans for running a full schedule this year, conserving the car at the event is really important to me,” she adds.
You can stay up-to-date with the team and see what is in store for the 2019 season by visiting their website at: www.RalyGrl.com