TrueCar Racing

Three-time STPR® winner Nathalie Richard teams up with Verena Mei

Three-time STPR® winner Nathalie Richard teams up with Verena Mei

This year’s Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally®, presented by Citizens & Northern Bank, more commonly known as STPR®, turns the ‘girl power’ up a notch as champion Nathalie Richard will co-drive with Verena Mei for the tokidoki / TrueCar Rally team in the Fiesta dubbed “Trixie.” The rally is based out of Wellsboro, Pa. and runs Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1.

Nathalie Richard will co-drive Verena Mei at STPR

iRally logo
V & Nath

Nathalie Richard, who's won more rallies than any other co-driver in North America, will call the notes for Verena Mei at next week's Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally.

Mei's regular co-driver Leanne Junnila is unavailable: Richard's perennial pilot Antoine L'estage is unable to compete after the big accident at the Oregon Trail Rally which wrecked his Mitsubishi Lancer WRC...

And so 8-times champion Richard is taking over in the co-driver for the young U.S. driver in her Fiesta.

L'estage has tweeted: "Good luck, and have fun girls..."

The Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally - STPR - starts on Friday May 31 in Wellsboro Pennsylvania.

Source: iRally

8 Time North American Champion Nathalie Richard Co-Drives with Verena Mei and the tokidoki/TrueCar Rally Team at STPR

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Verena Mei & Nathalie Richard team-up for STPR

This year for STPR, Verena Mei brings on the most decorated Co-Driver in North America, Nathalie Richard, as a guest Co-Driver for the tokidoki / TrueCar Rally Team.  "I'm very excited to drive with the record setting North American Champion!  It will be a great experience driving with Nathalie.  She's won STPR 3 times, including last year, so I know she'll push me hard. I'm very fortunate to work with empowering women," says Verena Mei.

Richard, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, who usually co-drives for Antoine L'Estage on the Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team, will take Leanne's Junnila's seat for STPR.  Junnila will return to New England Forest Rally with Verena and the tokidoki/TrueCar Rally Team and together, complete the rest of the 2013 Rally America season.

Please welcome Nathalie to the tokidoki/TrueCar Rally Team at STPR!

Keep up on the latest with Verena and Nathalie:

Twitter/Instagram @VerenaMei @NathalieRally

facebook.com/VerenaMeiRacing
facebook.com/NathalieRichardRally

verenamei.comnathalierichard.com

Photo: Pinky Yoshimoto/Aaron Kathman

Source: Rally America

TrueCar Racing Names 2013 "Women Empowered Initiative" Team

TrueCar Racing Names 2013 "Women Empowered Initiative" Team

TrueCar, an automotive pricing information and analysis company that creates a better buying experience for dealers and consumers, today announced the 2013 TrueCar Racing Women Empowered Initiative all-female racing team.

This season, the program will focus on supporting up-and-coming drivers at a grass-roots level as they continue to advance through the motorsports ladder. Ashley Freiberg, IMSA GT3Cup Challenge; Shea Holbrook, Pirelli World Challenge; Verena Mei, Rally America and Emilee Tominovich, Mazda MX-5 Cup will all be returning to the program for a second consecutive season.

Verena Mei returns to the 2013 Rally America National Championship, Oregon Trail Rally with Upgraded #335 tokidoki/TrueCar Ford Fiesta

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Verena Mei and Leanne Junnila are back for their second year at Oregon Trail Rally! Last year the only all-female Rally America National Championship team, placed top-10 overall in the B-Spec TrueCar Ford Fiesta #335. This year Verena's tokidoki/TrueCar Ford Fiesta has moved up to the G2 class while still running the stock 1.6L 120hp Fiesta engine.

"Oregon Trail is my favorite event of the Rally America season, and I'm excited for it to start! I love the mix of tarmac, tight & twisty, and fast & flowing stages.” said Mei. “With all the long straights, and having a major horsepower disadvantage, I’m going to be pushing hard to keep my speed up in the corners. This weekend I have Fiesta R2 front brakes which allows me to brake so much later, and I'll be able to shave off a lot of time. I came into the 2013 season with a whole different mind set, more experience and confidence . . . I'm going for it!"

As always, Verena will be bringing something special to the race for the fans. Verena Mei's 2013 tokidoki hero card will make its debut this weekend at Oregon Trail Rally and will include original art by tokidoki co-founder Simone Legno and the new “Star Girl” tokidoki character based on Verena. There will also be new tokidoki x Verena Mei stickers - including the "Star Girl", “Rally Porcino” character. Last but not least there will be a contest sponsored by tokidoki!

tokidoki Verena Mei Twitter contest!

Verena's fans can enter to win $75 in tokidoki / TKDK merchandise!

How to enter: 1) Follow @VerenaMei on Twitter  2) retweet her "follow @VerenaMei on the Oregon Trail" post
One winner will be randomly selected and announced on 5/10/13

Verena Mei Secures Continued Sponsorship Support from Tokidoki

Verena Mei Secures Continued Sponsorship Support from Tokidoki

Tokidoki, the pop culture brand meaning “sometimes” in Japanese, is speeding onto the racetrack this year with its continued sponsorship of TrueCar/Star Girl Racing Rally Driver Verena Mei, driver for the only all-female team in the 2013 Rally America National Championship.

tokidoki is thrilled to support rally racing through sponsorship of Mei and her team. “Verena is a great driver, and she embodies the tokdioki spirit. She is tough and aggressive behind the wheel, while still being feminine and fashionable out of the car,” says tokidoki creative director, Simone Legno. “We’re excited to be a part of Verena’s winning team.”

Verena and her co-driver, Leanne Junnila won the B-Spec Championship in 2012 started their 2013 season by placing 5th in 2WD National Class at last weekend’s Rally America’s Sno*Drift.

tokidoki Announces Sponsorship of TrueCar/Star Girl Racing Team Driver Verena Mei

tokidoki Announces Sponsorship of TrueCar/Star Girl Racing Team Driver Verena Mei

tokidoki, the pop culture brand meaning “sometimes” in Japanese, is speeding onto the racetrack this year with its continued sponsorship of TrueCar/Star Girl Racing Rally Driver Verena Mei, driver for the only all-female team in the 2013 Rally America National Championship.

tokidoki is thrilled to support rally racing through sponsorship of Mei and her team.  “Verena is a great driver, and she embodies the tokdioki spirit.  She is tough and aggressive behind the wheel, while still being feminine and fashionable out of the car,” says tokidoki creative director, Simone Legno.  “We’re excited to be a part of Verena’s winning team.”

Verena and her co-driver, Leanne Junnila won the B-Spec Championship in 2012 started their 2013 season by placing 5th in 2WD National Class at last weekend’s Rally America’s Sno*Drift.

TrueCar/Star Girl Racing Return for 2nd Year in Rally America

TrueCar/Star Girl Racing Return for 2nd Year in Rally America

After their first year in Rally America where they finished 4th in overall 2WD and won the 2012 B-Spec Championship – the first all-female team to win any championship in Rally America’s history, Verena Mei and Leanne Junilla return to Sno*Drift today in Atlanta MI where temperatures will reach a low of – 9 degrees and snow is expected. The competition will be intense with both Ken Block and the 2012 overall champion, David Higgins both running.

"I've never been more excited to race than I am at Sno*Drift this year.” Said Mei, “Now that I have a rally season under my belt, have been working with Leanne for a year now, and more confidence behind the wheel, this race is a completely different race for me than last year."

Some Girls Chase Boys, Verena Mei Just Passes Them

Some Girls Chase Boys, Verena Mei Just Passes Them

Don’t underestimate an Asian woman with mission and a passion. Verena Mei is a member of TrueCar Racing’s “Women Empowered” Initiative and a Rally America Driver.  She’s appeared in the blockbuster movies “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” and “Rush Hour 2.”  I got a chance to meet and talk with the beautiful and affable “fastest Asian-American female in the US” at the Indy Grand Prix Sonoma races this past Saturday.

TrueCar Racing Team in San Francisco Chronicle "All-female Team has True Passion for Racing Cars"

TrueCar Racing Team in San Francisco Chronicle "All-female Team has True Passion for Racing Cars"

All the women of TrueCar Racing are at Sonoma this weekend to promote the team, although Legge and Shea Holbrook (in the Pirelli World Challenge series) are the only ones racing. That includes Emilee Tominovich, only 19, who is on track to join the American Le Mans series, and Rally America B-Spec series champion Verena Mei.

TrueCar Racing, the brainchild of CEO Scott Painter, is the first all-female racing team, with six drivers in six different series . . Mei is a former Hollywood stunt driver ("The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift"), and she and co-driver Leanne Junnila are the first all-female team to win a season Rally Car title.

"It's something that has changed my life," Mei said. "We've all been pursuing racing individually, and not having the tools to get to where we want to be has been the biggest challenge for all of us. ... Now we really have a chance to compete at the top levels."

The TrueCar Racing Team on Sacramento ABC Morning News 10 at 9

While in Northern California for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, the TrueCar Racing Drivers: Katherine Legge, Verena Mei, Ashley Freiberg, Shannon McIntosh and Emilee Tominovich, make a stop in Sacramento for an interview on ABC News 10 at 9!

TrueCar Rally Driver Verena Mei Wins 2012 Rally America B-Spec National Championship in Her First Season - First All-Female Team to Win a Rally America Championship

TrueCar Racing

First All-Female Team to Win a Rally America Championship

Santa Monica, CA, August 15, 2012 -- Rally America announced today that TrueCar Rally Driver Verena Mei and co-driver Leanne Junnila have been awarded the inaugural Rally America B-Spec National Championship driving the #335 TrueCar Ford Fiesta, making them the first all-female team to win a Rally America Championship.   B-Spec rally cars are modified for safety and durability but retain the same engine and horsepower as the standard consumer vehicle.

Verena & Leanne taking NEFR by storm

"This title means a lot to me as a member of the TrueCar Racing Women Empowered initiative, and to all of my TrueCar Racing teammates, because now we're part of Rally America history. When people look back on who won the inaugural season of the B-Spec Rally America Championship, they'll see that it was a women's team, and that will never change” added Mei.

Mei’s TrueCar rally team brought numerous years of rally experience and passion for the sport in support of her first year of competing in the Rally America National Championship, and are a huge part of her success this season.

Mei had high praise for her co-driver, Leanne Junnila, her sponsors and New Hampshire-based Team O’Neil Rally School.

Verena & Leanne going for the win at New England Forest Rally

“It's such an honor and a huge accomplishment for me and the TrueCar Rally Team, to win the B-Spec Championship in it's inaugural year.  My amazing co-driver, Leanne Junnila, has taught me so much and our trust and reliance on each other in the car was how we were able to take the championship” Mei added “I'm so fortunate to have the incredible support of TrueCar, Virgin, Team O'Neil, and Tokidoki, all of whom believed in making my dream a reality.  I thank all of them immensely, and I definitely wouldn't be at this point, without them behind me.”

Mei and Junnila will finish their 2012 season at the Olympus Rally in Washington on September 22-23, in the TrueCar Fiesta #335 aka "Trixie".

For more information about TrueCar Racing, please visit www.truecar.com/ racing.  You can follow TrueCar Racing on Twitter (@TrueCarRacing) and become a fan of TrueCar Racing on Facebook.

Follow Verena Mei at www.verenamei.com

www.facebook.com/VerenaMeiRacing

Twitter/Instagram: @VerenaMei

About TrueCar Racing

The TrueCar Racing Women Empowered initiative was created to support top female racecar drivers in premier racing series, along with rising stars across several developmental series.  Through this program TrueCar empowers high-potential women with the tools they need to succeed both on and off the track, including full sponsorship support with top-tier racing teams, professional coaching and training and marketing exposure and publicity.  TrueCar Racing currently sponsors women in the following series: IndyCar, Star Mazda, USF2000, World Challenge, Mazda MX-5 Cup and Rally America.

TrueCar Rally Team Verena Mei & Leanne Junnila Win Rally America B-Spec National Championship

Inaugural B Spec Championship Claims First Title Winner 

Verena Mei & Leanne Junnila 2012 Rally America B-Spec Champions

TrueCar Racing’s Verena Mei from Littleton, NH and co-driver Leanne Junnila from Calgary, Alberta made Rally America history as the first team to win the inaugural B Spec Championship and the first all-female team to win a Rally America Championship.  The team amassed 120 points over five Rally America National Championship events with the chance to add more at the Olympus Rally in Olympia, WA on September 22-23rd. Though their success is partly due to showing up more than their B Spec rivals, the team pushed hard to win all their B Spec events. TrueCar Racing only lost to James Robinson from Delaware, OH and James Guitar from Marysville, OH at February’s Rally in the 100 Acre Wood.

"This title means a lot to me as driver of the TrueCar Racing Women Empowered Initiative, and my TrueCar Racing teammates, because now we're part of Rally America history,” added Mei, “When people look back on who won the inaugural season of the B-Spec Championship, they'll see that it was a women's team, and that will never change. My personal goal is to inspire and empower women that they can accomplish anything."

Verena in action at New England Forest Rally

Mei is in her first full season campaigning a 2011 TrueCar Ford Fiesta as the only national all-female rally team. She comes from a drifting and time attack background before making a huge commitment to rally racing. She began her rally career at the 2011 New England Forest Rally under Team O’Neil Rally School’s guidance to learn the secrets of speed on dirt. (Get to know Verena Mei better: rally-america.com/news/latest/1118/)

Source: Rally America

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.

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!