Deep down we're all rebels
Ready to take a map, a compass and road book, switch off your cell phone, computer or GPS for 8 days then get behind the wheel of an SUV, cross-over or a pick-up truck for a memorable adventure off-road? If you are, then you are ready to take part to Rebelle Rally, sponsored this year also by Pirelli North America.
The Rebelle Rally is the first women's off-road navigation rally raid in the United States. Traversing over 2,200 kilometers through Nevada and California's iconic terrain, it is an endurance competition for women requiring precision driving and navigation skills. But, don't be fooled: it isn't a race for speed. It is a navigation and driving challenge that demands endurance, accurate navigation, and communication. As well as a big dose of love for adventure.
The Rebelle is for 4×4 and Crossover vehicles and takes place on the stunning dirt roads, double tracks, trails, and sand dunes of the vast American West. The route changes every year: this year the event will start on the Hoover Dam October 7, wind its way across rugged terrain in Nevada and California, and finish at Imperial Sand Dunes in California on October 16. There are two categories of vehicle based on their capabilities: X-Cross™ for 2WD and all-wheel drive, and 4WD with two-speed transfer cases.
Now at its fifth edition, the Rebelle Rally has grown in popularity over the years. The 2021 rally will see 104 women, divided into 52 teams, competing. They are of different nationalities - US, Canada, Costa Rica, UK, Philippines - and different backgrounds including an aerospace engineering executive, a car dealership owner, a molecular biologist and seismologist. All united by the love of challenges.
But what are the rules of this very special rally? Competitors leave one of four base camps at 7 each morning to cover about 200 miles of rocks and sand, earning points for navigating to checkpoints set by latitude and longitude along the way. All phones are surrendered at the start of the rally and permanently locked away, day and night, for the duration of the event (8 days). GPS systems and other navigation devices are not permitted.
Each team consists of a pilot and a navigator, who uses old topography maps, a compass, and a ruler to find the route. When teams reach a checkpoint, some are marked by a flag or pole in the ground and some are completely unmarked, they push the button on a special tracker that reports their location into the real time scoring system.
Whoever has the most points at the end of the event wins.
Over the years, the Rally has become also a “testing ground” for OEMs: companies ranging from Jeep, Rivian, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Kia, to name a few, have all entered official team vehicles. To give you an idea, this year Ford is coming back to the Rebelle Rally with three vehicles: two Broncos and a Bronco Sport.
And precisely for this last vehicle, Pirelli developed a new “tailor-made” Scorpion ATR tire, part of the brand's range of SUV and light truck tires, designed to offer comfort, excellent traction and better wear resistance on the most diverse surfaces, including the ones that the competitors of the Rebelle Rally will face.
It is not a coincidence that Pirelli is a new sponsor of the Rebelle Rally. The competition is the perfect proving ground for Pirelli's Scorpion™ range, not just for the Scorpion™ ATR but also for the Scorpion™ All Terrain Plus. These two products are Pirelli's flagship light truck tires, developed for drivers of SUVs, pickups, and crossovers who want to strike a balance between on-road performance and off-road capability with no compromises.
Pirelli also shares the Rebelle Rally's commitment to sustainability. The Italian brand is also the tire of choice for Rivian on their fully electric R1T truck. The Pirelli Scorpion™ All-Terrain Plus carried Rebelle Rally veterans Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe to a top ten finish in the highly competitive 4×4 class in 2020. Will they repeat it this year?