TrueCar Racing Driver Verena Mei Currently in 5th Place in the 2WD Division of the Rally America National Championship Series

TrueCar Racing Driver Verena Mei Currently in 5th Place in the 2WD Division of the Rally America National Championship Series

Leads 36 Other Drivers in Overall Rally America National Championship Standings

TrueCar Racing Driver Verena Mei finished this weekend’s Rally America National Championship event, the New England Forest Rally, in 7th Place in the hotly contested 2WD Division. Her finish was especially significant as it was the one-year anniversary of her first career rally race at the same event last year. Mei has finished five of five races this season, which is a critical factor in the physically and mentally punishing rally racing format that takes place at very high speeds on rough dirt roads, in all weather and often with low visibility.

With one event left, Mei stands at 5th place in the 2WD division, with her #335 TrueCar Fiesta the only production car in the top 5. While others in the class compete with highly modified versions of the stock car, including added horsepower, Mei’s TrueCar Ford Fiesta carries the same 1.6-liter 120-horsepower engine that powers the consumer version that can be purchased on TrueCar.com. In only her first year competing in the sport Mei is also ranked 15th overall nationally ahead of 36 other drivers.

Verena and Porcino at the New England Forest Rally

Verena and Porcino at the New England Forest Rally

Join us in celebrating Verena’s one year anniversary in rally racing! She always brings her good luck charm, Porcino, and we know he has loved every minute of the ride! Check out some pictures of Verena and Porcino at the New England Forest Rally below, and stay tuned because Verena and Porcino are taking the rally world by storm!

TrueCar Racing Driver Verena Mei Announces First Race Under TrueCar Racing’s Virgin Group Affiliate Sponsorship and Entry in the 2012 New England Forest Rally

TrueCar Racing Driver Verena Mei Announces First Race Under TrueCar Racing’s Virgin Group Affiliate Sponsorship and Entry in the 2012 New England Forest Rally

TrueCar Racing Driver Verena Mei will compete July 13th and 14th in the Rally America National Championship Series event The New England Forest Rally in Newry, Maine. The New England Forest Rally (NEFR) is the fifth of six Rally America National Championship Events. Mei returns to the challenging logging roads of Maine on her one-year anniversary of National Championship competition in position for a strong finish.

Mei's sponsor, TrueCar has added Virgin Group as an affiliate sponsor and the #335 TrueCar Fiesta will be adding the world-renown Virgin logo on the race car as well the TrueCar Racing team uniforms and helmet at this weekend's race. Richard Branson’s Virgin Group brand is recognized globally and represents the pinnacle of innovation, entertainment, lifestyle and adventure. “It is incredibly exciting to have my amazing sponsor TrueCar add an affiliate sponsor of the caliber of Virgin Group,” said Mei. “It says so much for TrueCar Women Empowered and frankly it’s a personally motivating and emotional experience to get behind the wheel and see the TrueCar and Virgin logos on my hood,” she continued.

Virgin Group Partners with TrueCar Racing in Support of Women Empowered Initiative

Virgin Group Partners with TrueCar Racing in Support of Women Empowered Initiative

SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 13, 2012 – TrueCar Racing has announced today that Virgin Group, a leading global brand synonymous with innovation, entertainment, lifestyle and adventure and one of the world’s most recognized brands, is joining as an affiliate sponsor of TrueCar Racing, the world’s first all-female racing team and “Women Empowered” initiative, for the rest of the IndyCar season and 2012 Women Empowered racing calendar. IndyCar is one of the premier motor sports leagues watched worldwide. Financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.

Exclusive Interview with All Female Racing Team TrueCar

Racing is a man dominated sport with few woman drivers. This race car team is out to change.They are the first ever all women race team called TrueCar.  They are a highly driven, motivated, and hard working team that just goes out there to win. TrueCar provides full sponsorship and professional coaching and training. To find out more about TrueCar, click here.

TrueCar Racing Team

Emilee: Before the race, you go on the grid. I’m super nervous, I feel like my stomach is about to explode. You do a Pace lab to warm up. When the green flag drops, I am so nervous and you basically want to drive as hard as you can.

These six talented drivers have come a long way to get to where they are at. Emille TominovichShea HolbrookVerena MeiShannon McIntoshKatherine Legge, and Ashley Freiberg all have just one simple goal: to win. I recently had the pleasure to chat with three of the girls, Emille, Shea, and Verena, about how they got to where they are, what it’s like to be out on the track, and what they hope to accomplish.

What made you want to race cars every day?

Emilee: I got into racing two years ago and right now I’m a junior in college. I started out playing soccer in High School and then went to the track with my dad after I got injured. A year later I got my SCCA license and just went for it.

Verena: The automotive industry. I love everything about it. I wanted to get into racing because I love the passion that everyone has for it.

Shea Holbrook - Pirelli World Challenge

Shea: I started racing about six years ago. Five years ago, I traded in water skis for a pair of wheels. I thought in the beginning you’re either a zero or a hero. It is the hardest to get it in to because it is not only a hard career, but hard for a young person and even more for a woman. When I realized I had a passion for racing is when I gripped a wheel for the first time. I grew up water skiing thinking I’ll do it for rest of life. When I quit cold turkey, I found another sport that changed my life.

 

 

What was or who was your inspiration?

Shea: My dad had a lot to do with it. I am an only child and thank god or I might have not done this (laughs). I was fifteen years old when I had done this three day event. I realized that there was more to it and it was his way to see if I would invest all my time and have fun in this career. My dad invested a lot in me and racing. But, having a role model and wanting to be exactly like them is ridiculous. Why would you want to be like someone else? We all look up to different people.

Verena: My grandmother was my inspiration throughout my life. She wasn’t alive when I started racing. I was always thinking of her and doing this for her. Denise McCluggage also was an inspiration as she was an automotive journalist and rally racer who won her class in the legendary Monte Carlo Rally.

Emilee: My inspiration was my dad. About a year before I got into it, he used to play golf before the track opened. I’ve been hooked ever since and my family has been super supportive through it all.

What’s the feeling like when you’re out there on the track?

Emilee Tominovich - Playboy MX-5 Cup

Emilee: Before the race, you go on the grid. I’m super nervous, I feel like my stomach is about to explode. You do a Pace lab to warm up. When the green flag drops, I am so nervous and you basically want to drive as hard as you can.

Shea: I think if racing was easy, everyone would do it. Not everyone realizes how much mental preparation it takes. It is mentally and physically draining. I think everyone gets the jitter bugs however. It is not just the driver; it is everybody on the team and the pressure builds up for everyone. You got to turn off what’s not important and turn on what is. I’ve been racing for almost 6 years. As a driver, at the end of the day, you are the last piece to fit in the puzzle and need to finish the job. I get a little bit of the nerves and excitement and have to calm myself down. It comes down to how you focus mentally. You have drivers say “watch out, I’m coming for you”. They try to psych us out. We’re doing this not just to race, but to win. And that is what the TrueCar racing team is.

Verena: I do rally racing which is racing in mountains with whatever weather happens to be present. I get butterflies the day before the race as you never seen the roads before. Day before the race we get to drive it at 30mph. During the race, I have a co-driver who gives me notes throughout the race. Rally racing involves a lot of focus and what my co-driver says, I got to listen. The roads are always different conditions if it might have snowed or rained the night before. We never see the other cars unless we see them on the side of the road or if we pass or catch up to them. It’s all a mental thing. When there is five seconds before the race, my focus comes in, but my vision is blurred as I get a pinpoint vision of what line I need to take.

What is your favorite car to race?

Verena Mei - Rally America

Shea: The Honda Civic Si 2012 is the current one I race. I’ve raced BMWs, Porsche’s, Honda’s, and Acura’s. We race what the average American drives. We’ve worked hard to get to where we are today. My favorite, I guess, is the current one I drive but it’s hard to really answer that question because at the end of the day, we’re drivers and we’ll drive anything.

Emilee: I think Shea said it all. I think we all like to get in anything they let us drive.

 

Verena: We race all kinds of cars, but I have to say for rallies, it is the Ford Fiesta.

What advice can you give someone about following your dreams?

Emilee: Whatever you want to do, go for it. I worked hard and I knew what I wanted to do.

Verena: Same as Emilee. If you have a passion for it, you will make it happen. That’s why we all are here on this racing team. There’s is still so much to come.

Shea: My dad and I came up with a quote: “Fear is a state of mind, will is an action taken” I live by that quote. Like Verena said, it is an uphill climb. Men and women have different uphill battles when it comes to motorsports. There have been times I thought it would not happen. Not giving up hope, my dad kept reminding about the quote. If you believe in yourself and have a strong foundation you can do anything. Women that have been in motorsports have fantastic years, bad years, and back and forth. It is almost impossible to get that perfect lap. It is like one in 100,000. It is not easy to do but it is possible. In fifty years, I’ll look back and know we are part of history and the six of us worked hard and were empowered. It is an emotional ride for all of us.

 

TrueCar Rally America Driver Verena Mei Finishes 5th in the National Championship 2WD Division of the 2012 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally

TrueCar Rally America Driver Verena Mei Finishes 5th in the National Championship 2WD Division of the 2012 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally

SANTA MONICA, Calif.June 7, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- TrueCar Rally America Driver Verena Mei and her Co-Driver Leanne Junnila finished the fast and extremely narrow stages of the The Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (commonly know as the STPR) in 5th Place in the highly competitive 2WD Division of the Rally America National Championship. The TrueCar B-Spec Fiesta #335 was dubbed "The Little Fiesta That Could" by fans and competitors alike as Verena and Leanne climbed from back in the pack and steadily moved up to compete with highly modified entries and European Spec Ford Fiesta R2's. 

Porcino’s Indianapolis 500 Adventure!

Porcino’s Indianapolis 500 Adventure!

Our very own Porcino got the chance to hang out at the Indianapolis 500 over Memorial Day weekend with TrueCar rally driver Verena Mei! Porcino was incredibly excited to be able to attend, and luckily for us he took tons of pictures!

TrueCar Rally America Driver Verena Mei Ready to Run STPR: "The Fastest Rally in North America" Mei Holds the Lead in Rally America National B Spec Championship

TrueCar Rally America Driver Verena Mei Ready to Run STPR: "The Fastest Rally in North America" Mei Holds the Lead in Rally America National B Spec Championship

TrueCar Rally America driver Verena Mei will compete in the 4th Round of the Rally America National Championship Series, The Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (commonly know as STPR) in Wellsboro, PA June 1 – 2.

Mei and her co-driver, Leanne Junnila of Calgary, compete as the only all-female national team in Rally America. The duo solidified their lead in Rally America's B-Spec National Championship after an impressive top ten finish at the Oregon Trail Rally earlier this month.

The STPR course is not only fast, with speeds in the dense forest reaching more than 100 mph, but also slippery and very dangerous. Rally America is quoted as saying "this rally is not for the feint of heart."

Historic Female Firsts At The Indy 500

Historic Female Firsts At The Indy 500

On the chance that you’re not a fan of auto racing, then you probably don’t know that this past Sunday, May 27th was the 96th annual Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The event, billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, is considered one of the most significant motorsports events in the world, which is why we think it’s pretty cool that a double dose of WYSK-y style history was just made there by British born, female driver, Katherine Legge. . . 

Today, at age 31, Katherine leads theTrueCar Racing Team, the only all-female race team focused on empowering high-potential women to become championship racecar drivers. The team’s primary goal, however, is the same as every other team in auto racing: winning.

Female Racecar Drivers: “Half The World Loves Us And Half The World Hates Us”

Female Racecar Drivers: “Half The World Loves Us And Half The World Hates Us”

Shea Holbrook, Verena Mei, and Emilee Tominovich are part of TrueCar’s “Women Empowered” team, and they’re at the Indy 500 this weekend to support teammate Katherine Legge, the ninth woman to compete in that famous race. They’ll also be competing in their own races this year, including the Pirelli World Challenge, Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup SCCA Pro Series, and Rally America.

Verena Mei and Porcino Finish Top 10 in the 2012 Oregon Trail Rally

Verena Mei and Porcino Finish Top 10 in the 2012 Oregon Trail Rally

Portland, OR, May 9, 2012 – TrueCar Rally America Driver Verena Mei and her Co-Driver Leanne Junnila finished one of the most technical and demanding events in the Rally America National Championship at the top of the Factory B-Spec Class and top 10 overall in the 2012 Oregon Trail Rally, in a field which included 350 horsepower, AWD Open Class cars and competition from drivers including former British Rally Championship, Winner David Higgins.

Source: tokidoki 

TrueCar Rally America Driver Verena Mei Finishes Top 10 in the 2012 Oregon Trail Rally

TrueCar Rally America Driver Verena Mei Finishes Top 10 in the 2012 Oregon Trail Rally

Portland, OR, May 9, 2012 -- TrueCar Rally America Driver Verena Mei and her Co-Driver Leanne Junnila finished one of the most technical and demanding events in the Rally America National Championship at the top of the Factory B-Spec Class and top 10 overall in the 2012 Oregon Trail Rally, in a field which included 350 horsepower, AWD Open Class cars and competition from drivers including former British Rally Championship, Winner David Higgins.

VIDEO: Rookies Lead The Way At Oregon Trail

VIDEO: Rookies Lead The Way At Oregon Trail

Rookies Ed McNelly and Verrena Mei led the way a tthe Oregon Trail Rally in their Team O'Neil Motorsports Ford Fiesta. McNelly finished third in the 2WD class to claim his first podium finish and Mei came in fourth in class and tenth overall in her TrueCar Fiesta.

tokoidoki Creates “Star Girl” Character for Verena Mei’s #335

tokoidoki Creates “Star Girl” Character for Verena Mei’s #335

tokidoki/TrueCar Ford Fiesta to Début at Rally America’s 2nd 2013 National Championship Event: “The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood”

If the new graphics on the #335 tokidoki/TrueCar Ford Fiesta look familiar, look to the drivers seat. Lead sponsor tokidoki has created a new character based on driver Verena Mei’s passion for racing, fashion and all things tokidoki. The character has been named “Star Girl” in honor of Mei’s Racing Team and lifestyle brand, Star Girl Racing.

“This is really taking sponsorship to a different level” said Tim O’Neil, co-sponsor and owner of Team O’Neil “bringing in such a great non-endemic brand is one thing, them creating a racing character based on a driver to go with their branding is very smart and brings new possibilities to the sport.”

Rally America Season Preview Part 2: The Newcomers

Rally America Season Preview Part 2: The Newcomers

“When Verena first came to me and said she wanted to rally I told her to start with the school, then co-drive then finally drive and she has done everything I asked of her,” O’Neil said. “The way she went about putting her program together is text book. She is extremely intelligent and her marketing background has served her well. She won a class in Formula D so she has the ability and she has gone about things every methodically and building her confidence in the car. She is fast and she is tough and I am excited to see how her season unfolds.”

Verena Mei, Rally America Race Car Driver

Verena Mei, Rally America Race Car Driver

Hawaii native Verena Mei, moved from California to Littleton, NH at beginning of this year to train with the Team O’Neil Rally School, and immerse herself in the world of rally. She might be a new name in the rally world, but Verena has been involved in motorsports for the last 10 years.

TrueCar Announces Women's Racing Initiative

 Verena with the TrueCar Fiesta #335 at the Rally America 2012 Season Opener, Sno*Drift Rally

Verena with the TrueCar Fiesta #335 at the Rally America 2012 Season Opener, Sno*Drift Rally

TrueCar, publishers of new-car-transaction data, revealed plans for a multiyear push into motorsports sponsorship but with a twist. TrueCar will throw its money behind female racers in premier series and up-and-coming ones in numerous development series.

"TrueCar is built upon the foundation of empowering individuals with the tools and resources they need to become expert car buyers," TrueCar founder and CEO Scott Painter said. "The Women Empowered initiative is an exciting extension of that philosophy--empowering women in racing by giving talented female drivers everything they need to dominate their sport."

Five drivers have been confirmed for the 2012 TrueCar Racing Team. Shea Holbrook (Pirelli World Challenge), Ashley Freiberg (Star Mazda), Shannon McIntosh (USF2000), Verena Mei (Rally America) and Emilee Tominovich (MX-5 Cup) make up the inaugural class so far. TrueCar is in sponsorship discussions with an IndyCar driver and also will support an all-female Baja 1000 team in 2012.

TrueCar support also will be present at a grassroots level with a young-driver development program aimed at exposing young women to racing at a karting level. Top prospects will receive support from TrueCar throughout their careers in what might eventually turn into backing for top series such as American Le Mans, Grand-Am, IndyCar, Global RallyCross and X Games Rally.

"Despite their considerable talents, women have yet to achieve the sponsorship opportunities, recognition and championship successes that we believe is their due in the only sport where men and women compete head-to-head," said Charles Kim, director of motorsports for TrueCar. "Our mission is simple: to empower these talented drivers and help them become future racing champions."

Michael Zimicki, who has coached the likes of Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal, serves as a consultant on the TrueCar initiative. "The program that TrueCar has announced today is the most comprehensive support of American racing ever done, be it open-wheel, sports car, rally or off-road. And the real kicker is that it is in support of women. This is a revolution," Zimicki noted.

In addition, rally whiz Tim O'Neil will serve as an adviser throughout the season.

Source: AutoWeek