Littleton, NH – TrueCar Racing rally driver Verena Mei and her co-driver Leanne Junnila raced in the 2012 Olympus Rally in Olympia, WA on September 22-23, closing out a successful 2012 season that saw the pair win the first ever Rally America B-Spec National Championship and become the first all-female team in Rally America History to win any national championship.
Dry conditions and the risk of forest fires added new challenges to the event as competition took place early morning with a mid-day break and continued late into the night with low visibility on stages, ending after midnight. Going into the Olympus Rally, Verena was the Rally America’s first female contender for the “Rookie of the Year” award, and tied in points with her Team O’Neil teammate, Ed McNelly. It came down to the last stage of rally, when it was given to McNelly, who took 3rd and Mei 4th in 2WD.
Mei competed for the first time in her Group 2 upgraded TrueCar #335 Ford Fiesta, with increased braking ability from the stock B-Spec. She finished the final event of the season with the stock Fiesta 120 HP engine. Verena and Junnila finished 4th in the Rally America Overall 2WD National Championship.
Mei added, “After winning the B-Spec Championship at New England Forest Rally, and going into Olympus tied for “Rookie of the Year”, I was more confident than ever and focused on pushing harder, and picking up speed in the corners. The award couldn’t have gone to a better person, as I’m truly happy for Ed, who has always been supportive of my racing. Finishing off the season 4th in Overall 2WD, is a huge accomplishment for my first year in rally! I have TrueCar, my co-driver Leanne, Team O’Neil and my crew to thank for that.”
Another first at the event was the unveiling of Mei’s new competition helmet designed by artist and tokidoki co-founder Simone Legno. It’s the first time the artist has applied his renowned design talents to a helmet for an active race driver.
“It was a great honor to be asked to design Verena’s helmet” said tokidoki co-founder and Creative Director Simone Legno. Simone added, “Verena is a great driver, and she embodies the tokidoki spirit. She is very tough and aggressive behind the wheel, while still being feminine and fashionable out of the car. I hope you all enjoy the design.”
In the coming months, Verena will be taking her rally training to the next level with Team O’Neil, to prepare for her 2013 Rally America Season, starting with Sno*Drift, an ice & snow rally, in January.
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