Meet the Co-Drivers: Rachel Rethy
How many couples do you know that drove off after their wedding in their rally car? Unamused Rally Sport’s Ryan and Rachel Rethy did just that when they got hitched, after multiple years of competing together at Rally America National Championship events. We got to know Ryan yesterday—today, it’s Rachel’s turn to take the helm in our latest edition of Meet the Co-Drivers:
What made you want to start rallying?
I've been a spectator at the 100 Acre Wood rally for several years, but never thought I would get to experience it as a competitor. It wasn't even on my radar. One day while I was running errands, Ryan was hanging out at home with his friends, who are also rally enthusiasts and competitors. Obviously, they had been talking about rally a lot because as soon as I walked in the door, Ryan shouted "we are turning the Outback into a rally car, and you're my co-driver!" Ever since then it's been a whirlwind of build, race, repair, repeat.
When was your first event and how did you do?
Our first event was Show-Me in Salem, MO. Our goal was to learn the ropes, finish, and keep the car intact for 100 Acre Wood. We accomplished what we set out to do. It was a great first rally experience, and I think we both surprised ourselves with how well it went: Ryan got comfortable on gravel; despite rally computer issues, I kept up with the notes; and we clicked really well as a team, which was the biggest success.
When was your first really memorable result—win or podium—and how did you get there?
Does our wedding count as a win? I think so. Our rally car was the vehicle we drove off in. Ryan drifted us around the corner and peeled away from the reception venue in style. I don't think too many people can say they left their wedding in a car they built and race in together. My job as co-driver goes well beyond rallies on the Unamused Rally Team/Family.
Do you prefer to work with a single driver or multiple drivers?
There's a lot of trust that goes into a driver/co-driver relationship, and as a co-driver you learn a lot about what works for your driver. I could never build that relationship or trust with anyone else. I'm open to helping out other drivers, but I always prefer to be sitting next to Ryan.
What’s your favorite event on the Rally America schedule?
100 Acre Wood all the way! It's awesome having this event so close to home, so friends and family can come cheer you on.
Do you have any pre-event routines?
Just the typical co-driver organization and prep work including packing the always necessary "emergency" granola bar.
Which other co-drivers in the sport do you respect the most?
Misha Avrushenko. He gave me a lot of pointers when we were first getting into the sport, he's our main sponsor through his auto repair business, Ecotech, plus he was Ryan's best man in our wedding. Needless to say, he's been a big supporter.