The Noble Star Rally (NSR) team began the 2013 Rally America National Championship strong at the Sno*Drift Rally held in Atlanta, MI on January 25-26th, building upon the success from last year’s Rally America season.

The team’s inaugural 2012 year was spent adjusting to a national rally schedule and their efforts began to bear fruit when NSR finished September’s OIympus Rally under extreme dry and dusty conditions for their first fully completed event.

After a three month off-season spent prepping and strengthening their engine NSR followed up the two successful Olympus Rally 2012 regional rally finishes with two more regional finishes at the 2013 Sno*Drift Rally.

“The 2.2L could not have been a better choice for us.  The first time driving the car with the new engine gave me nothing but a positive outlook.  The car has run beautifully in two stage rallies, a TSD event and two rally crosses since the swap.  Though I admit it feels strange not to have to constantly worry about the engine, it is a huge relief and makes the events much more enjoyable!” said NSR driver Amanda Skelly.

Sno*Drift is a challenging event for teams as it presents changing road conditions which vary from ice to snow.  Spectators are often amused as aggressive drivers do their best to avoid spinning and stuffing their rally cars into snowbanks on tight corners. “I was honestly a little disappointed that I did not really have the chance to pull anyone out of a snow bank this year,” jokes Skelly.

Members from the Noble Star Rally team assembled from New York, California and Michigan for the kickoff to the 2013 season.  For NSR co-driver, Derrick Rudisel, this Sno*Drift Rally was his first as a competitor.   Rudisel had attended the event as a photographer for both Matthew Noble Marker and Skelly in prior years.

"After attending the event with both (Matthew) Marker and Amanda, I couldn't have been more excited to finally be in the car. This was the first event I didn’t worry about camera equipment and taking photos. I was able to focus 110% and had a blast with Amanda and our team!" says Rudisel.

The team was proud to move up from 7th place to 5th place in class, and 12th overall, during Saturday’s Drift Regional Rally to end behind Tracey Gardiner of TAG RallySport.

“This was exactly what I wanted the crew to see after such a tough 2012 season. I think we were all really happy to see Amanda and Derrick's competitive sides show. My crew has built a solid rally car and we're now interested in seeing what it can do and really start competing. NSR's performance at Sno*Drift gave us all the extra morale to keep on pushing and help remind us why we do what we do,” concludes NSR Crew Chief, Daniel Fryatt.

Next in line the team will trade snow for dryer weather as the team prepares for the Sandblast Rally held in Cheraw, SC on March 2nd.

The team would like to thank their family, friends, fans and 2013 sponsors; SyntheticEngine.org, Ainove Inc., Prismatic Powders, Safe Drives, Ken’s Body Shop and SubaRoots Rally.

To find out more about the team follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/NobleStarRally or at www.NobleStarRally.com

Photo: Eric Delaney