All-Electric Vehicle Wins 1600-Mile Off-Road Rally
Two personnel from Rivian undertook an adventure of a lifetime when they triumphed at the Rebelle Rally for 2021. This is remarkable since it was the primary time an all-electric vehicle has taken 1st in the main course, the 4×4 class, in the event’s entire history, preceded by the X-Cross where Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Mustang Mach-E also participated. The rally set was 1,600 miles long with GPS navigation prohibited.
Lillian Macaruso and Alexandra Anderson, a duo dubbed “Limestone Legends” because of their Limestone-colored pickup truck, triumphed in the Rebelle Rally, the longest off-road rally in the US spanning over 1500 miles across Nevada and California’s deserts. Gaining close to 88% of available points, the team gained a grand total of 1,395 points, surpassing second place by 36 points. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe got 1,359, while the Ford Bronco Raptor was third with 1,301 points. It goes without saying that the electric-powered team performed well throughout the weeklong competition.
Last year, the very same team concluded fourth amongst 45 competitors and was presented with the “Rookie of the Year Award”; thus it’s secure to proclaim that the ladies had convinced aspirations of success when competing in their second outing.
Macaruso is a Special Projects Engineer employed by Rivian, and with the assistance of her teammate Anderson (a Senior Mechanical Engineer at the California EV manufacturer) achieved the impressive feat of changing a tire within four minutes last year.
Consequently, Rivian’s bonds with the Rebelle Rally have an even richer history than many would believe. As far back as 2020, the automaker was partaking in this race while journalist Emme Hall took a pre-production R1T out for its maiden spin.
This year, dipping to a low of four, the Rivian R1T made a formidable appearance in the competition. Endowed with support from the Irvine-based EV producer, three vehicles engaged in the race while one other was driven by two ardent buyers; this being the maiden attempt for a privately-owned electrically powered vehicle to battle in the Rebelle Rally.
The assemblage of Mandy Brezina and Alex Gilman composing the customer unit concluded the rally in 11th place, while other contenders joined by Rivian ended up in 20th and 30th place from the sum of 55 entries in the 4×4 category.
The Rebelle Rally established itself in 2015, particularly as a feminine only rally which permitted drivers to take their vehicles into the wilderness through an orderly event where digital navigation tools such as GPS weren’t applicable. Instead, drivers and navigators had to bank on compasses, paper maps, and plotters to complete the course. This is indeed quite a challenge for cars or SUVs, let alone EVs knowing that Electrify America stations are scattered across the desert.