Putting two of its experienced employees and its durable transfer case to the ultimate test of endurance and ability, Magna will field a two-woman team for the 2022 Rebelle Rally. The off-road rally, which runs Oct. 6-15, requires keen driving and navigation skills, without the use of GPS or other digital mapping devices, and covers more than 1,550 miles of spectacular desert terrain in Nevada and California.
Magna’s team, called Force de Fem, will share the driving and navigating duties between Michelle Figueroa, system engineer for Magna’s powertrain group, and Sree Anandavally, global director, Factory of the Future.
“Empowering employees to participate in something like Rebelle Rally exemplifies Magna’s commitment to approaching every challenge with grit and determination,” said Eric Wilds, Magna chief marketing and sales officer. “The entire Magna team is rooting for Michelle and Sree, we know they will inspire many inside and outside our company.”
The Rebelle Rally, now in its seventh year running, is the first women-only off-road navigation rally of its kind. The event features eight full days of driving, from North Lake Tahoe to Imperial Sand Dunes, California. Success is not about outright speed, but about locating hidden checkpoints, driving through difficult off-road terrain and carefully navigating using maps, compasses and printed route books.
The Magna team has been preparing for the rally with training at the Holly Oaks ORV Park in Metro Detroit featuring a 9,000-square-foot peak, called Mt. Magna, designed to replicate the experience of popular, massive rock formations in Moab, Utah. The pair have also tested their skills at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in West Michigan as they prepare to head to the rally in October.
Figueroa and Anandavally will drive a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon featuring a Magna Ultimax in the rally. The two-speed transfer case with an impressive 4:1 low-range ratio distributes engine output to the front and rear axles and the low-range option improves performance off-road. The proven Magna Ultimax will give the team the 4×4 capability and performance needed to traverse the desert terrain.
Fans of all things off-road are encouraged to follow the Rebelle Rally team’s progress on Magna’s social media channels and online at www.magna.com/rebelle-rally, where photos and videos will be posted as the pair hones their abilities in the coming weeks and during the challenging competition.