IMPERIAL SAND DUNES, Calif. - Driving a 2020 Frontier equipped with an all-new line of Nissan NISMO off-road parts, Nissan's Team Wild Grace finished fourth out of 30 vehicles at the 2020 Rebelle Rally, and first among nine pickup trucks. The finish marks Wild Grace's highest finish in its five-year history at the event.
Navigator Sedona Blinson and driver Lyn Woodward, competing in the longest off-road competition in the country, were the first ever to test Nissan's storied NISMO Performance brand's new off-road parts. Parts included a high-performance suspension kit, an off-road bumper, off-road lighting and off-road wheels - each of which are scheduled to be available to the public later this fall.
'What an awesome way to introduce this new line of Nissan NISMO off-road parts to the world,' said Michael Soutter, vice president, Nissan Aftersales U.S. 'A huge congratulations and thank you goes to Sedona and Lyn, who made us all proud and proved to the off-roading community that Nissan and NISMO belong among the elite.'
The eight-day all-women's rally began at sunrise and often lasted past sunset. Per the Rally's rules, teams used only maps, a compass and a road book to weave through nearly 1,000 miles of Nevada and California's most rugged and remote areas, earning points by finding hidden checkpoints along the way.
Ultimately, success is determined not by speed but by navigational accuracy, driving prowess and time management - and Team Wild Grace excelled at each, finishing with a total of 1329 points and 81% accuracy.
They did it all with the help of their third teammate, 'Scarlett' the 2020 Frontier.
'I really felt like the Frontier was the perfect truck for this event,' said Blinson, a preschool teacher and mother of two, who has competed in all five Rebelle Rallies. 'The NISMO suspension was butter - it was the perfect addition to this truck.'
Woodward, an automotive journalist at Kelley Blue Book, added that the Frontier's true midsize truck feel and the addition of the new NISMO off-road parts were crucial to the team's success. The addition of RECARO Cross Sportster ORV seats also made a significant impact over the course of the Rally.
'Having a shorter wheelbase and a truck that was so nimble, combined with the new NISMO suspension, was just superb,' said Woodward. 'We had so much fun driving that thing - it felt so reliable and I never at one point felt like I needed to hold back for anything.'
Team Wild Grace's confidence was evident throughout, and none more so than on Day 6, when they were faced with a challenging climb up the famed Oldsmobile Hill in California'sGlamis Dunes. As competitors either avoided the hill or finished the climb on foot, Woodward tackled it head on, ultimately making Scarlett the Frontier the only vehicle to make it to the top.
'We had practiced for that hill and really wanted to give it a shot,' said Woodward, noting she lost her voice from excitement on the climb up. 'That was a huge highlight of the Rally.'
It was such a highlight, in fact, that on Saturday afternoon, just hours after crossing the finish line, Woodward and Blinson drove back to Oldsmobile Hill to enjoy the thrill of the climb once more. They were successful yet again, a fitting celebration for a top-5 finish at the Rebelle Rally.
NISMO off-road parts will be available for the 2005-2020 model year Frontier, 2016-2021 model year TITAN and 2005-2015 model year Xterra later this fall, and will also be offered on the forthcoming, next-generation Frontier. Products will be available through Nissan dealers, select NISMO retailers or via NISMOparts.nissanusa.com.
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About The Rebelle Rally
The Rebelle Rally, entering its fifth year, is the first women's off-road navigational rally raid in the United States. The event has a unique challenge and scoring system where precise navigation, not speed, is the ultimate goal. Participants trade in cell phones and GPS for old-school navigation in a competition for the elements of time, distance, headings, and hidden checkpoints. Armed with just maps, compasses, and roadbooks, teams of two will be pushed to their limits as they make their way across 2,000+ kilometers of Nevada and California's iconic terrain. Starting October 8 in Lake Tahoe and finishing October 17 along the famed Glamis Dunes, the competition is the longest competitive off-road rally in the nation. For more information including live show and tracking, visit www.rebellerally.com.
Nissan Product Communications