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Honda is sending two teams to compete in a women-only off-road rally

Two teams of Honda engineers from Honda R&D Americas, Inc. are entering the 2019 Rebelle Rally, which starts on October 10 at Lake Tahoe, located on the California/Nevada border. The Rebelle Rally is the first women-only off-road navigational rally and this is Honda’s second year competing. The manufacturer is using the event to showcase Honda light truck capabilities in all types of challenging terrain in diverse conditions from the start to the finish on the Imperial Sand Dunes in Southern California.

The Rebelle Rally provides a unique opportunity for Honda engineers to test the 2019 Passport and 2018 Ridgeline in the types of environments they’re designed to be driven in. The vehicles are mostly stock except for modifications including custom front and rear skid plates, more aggressive all-terrain off-road tires, auxiliary lights, roof rails, and an in-cabin tire rack. All vehicles must be street legal, plated, and able to travel on interstates at the posted speed limits.

In a 2018 Honda Ridgeline will be Team Challenging Spirit featuring Sharon Moore, a senior engineering technician based in Torrance, California, and Michelle Klein, a crash safety test engineer based in Raymond, Ohio. Klein is the only returning member of the 2018 team and she is serving as a mentor to her new teammates.

In a 2019 Honda Passport will be Team Sand Mode featuring Liz Casteel, a chassis reliability test engineer based in Raymond, Ohio and Tasha Krug, an engine systems and drivability test engineer also based in Raymond, Ohio. The two teams will face eight days and 1,200 miles of navigation challenges, changing terrain and difficult obstacles such as sand dunes using only maps, compasses, and a roadbook.

Both vehicles feature Honda’s advanced Intelligent Variable Torque Management torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system. The system includes four Intelligent Traction Management (ITM) modes; Normal, Snow, Mud and Sand, allowing the driver to select the best all-wheel drive parameters for the environment.

Technology is always a benefit when facing adverse conditions but the whole point of the Rebelle Rally is to inspire women to push beyond what they thought were their limits along a journey where anything is possible and nothing is insurmountable.

John Elkin
Worked for many off road and rally and sports car publications throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Decided to go look for a…
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