Meet the Co-Drivers: Angelica Miller
Mad Cheshire Racing’s Michael and Angelica Miller have been mainstays of the Open Light class during the 2018 Rally America National Championship, standing out by utilizing a Mitsubishi Galant as opposed to some of the other manufacturers that dominate the rest of the class list. Yesterday, we introduced you to driver Michael—today, it’s co-driver Angelica’s turn to claim the spotlight:
What made you want to start rallying?
Back in 2014 Mike and I drove out to Missouri to spectate at the 100 Acre Wood rally and it was so much fun! We got to spectate quite a few stages, my camera lens had rocks shot at it, and we got to chat with some of the locals that were really pumped to have rally cars racing through roads that they drive on a regular basis. We have also been doing rallycross for about 7 or 8 years now and I was excited to branch out into a more challenging venue with stage rally last year.
When was your first event and how did you do?
Rally Colorado 2017 was our debut event, and it was a lot to take in. We has just gone to the CHCA Monarch Hill Climb the weekend before to shakedown the car but ran into motor issues on the practice day so we drove home and swapped the motor out of our rallycross car overnight and drove back in the morning so we could get our two race runs in and we got 2nd in class! Rally Colorado was also very exciting, and on day 2 we had just descended the infamous 6-switchbacks and finished the end of SS8 when our bumper caught on fire due to the catalytic converter getting too hot - Mike jumped out of the car in the blink of an eye with a fire extinguisher in hand and put it out. We skipped SS9 and got back to service and fixed the issue that caused the cat to overheat and got to finish the last leg of the day. Even though we missed a stage and technically DNF'd we were so relieved that we made it to the finish.
When was your first really memorable result—win or podium—and how did you get there?
Rally Wyoming 2017 was probably our best result of all of our races so far, we finished 8th overall nationally and 2nd in Open Light. Regionally we got 3rd in Open light for Day 1 and 2nd in Open Light for Day 2. It was a very rewarding finish being that it was the first event that we had written notes for each and every stage (no stage notes were provided for this rally), and it was a tough event with very high matriculation due to the challenging surface conditions taking out top drivers and rookies alike. Also, because our alternator had been going out prior to starting the final stage we weren't sure if the car would A) finish SS12 and B) get us through a 31 mile transit from Lance Creek back to Lusk, but to our surprise it did just that!
Do you prefer to work with a single driver or multiple drivers?
So far I have only co-driven for my husband Mike, though I would definitely be open to co-driving for other drivers at some point in the future if the timing works out.
What’s your favorite event on the Rally America schedule?
That's a tough one, they are all super fun events with unique elements. Though Rally Colorado is close to my heart being in my home state I would have to say that 100 Acre Wood is my favorite event so far as I really enjoyed the flow of the stages.
Do you have any pre-event routines?
Lots of planning and preparation for sure! I typically make sure I have our fire suits cleaned and all safety gear re-packed, restock my co-driver supplies, create a movement plan, print copies of supps/maps/other important documents, and I re-read through old notes.
Which other co-drivers in the sport do you respect the most?
One thing that I really like about stage rally is that almost all co-drivers are extremely helpful and willing to answer any questions you may have. I have enormous respect for Preston Osborn, who is both an outstanding co-driver and representative for the sport because he knows the ins and outs of everything rally and has a wonderful attitude. He has answered my questions (even a few silly ones) and has offered fantastic advice for everything from event prep to how to review and make adjustments to notes and he does it all with a smile.