2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro Overcomes Setbacks to Earn Top Marks at Rebelle Rally

November 13th, 2022 by

What do math and rally racing have in common? They’re two of the main components that earned the Kia Sportage X-Pro team fifth place at this year’s Rebelle Rally. By combining a strong will and advanced navigation skills, a pair of rally racers overcame the odds to get through the race on their own.

Sportage X-Pro climbing trail at Rebelle Rally

2023 Rebelle Rally Troubles

After preparing their 2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro for the grueling 8-day race, driver Verena Mei and navigator Tana White were ready to hit the trails. The Rebelle Rally is a yearly competition of all-women racers across Nevada’s sand dunes. Competing with both amateur racing enthusiasts and professional drivers, Mei and White prepared their X-Pro to navigate the rocks, sand, and trails of the rally, expecting to come out on top. Although the race allows for stock vehicles, the team used their experience to outfit their Sportage with the right tires and upgrades for the challenge ahead. However, they ran into trouble when their external odometer gave out on the very first day of the competition. Even with the arduous task ahead of them, the team drove on with confidence, willing to meet the challenge despite the major setback.

Without the external navigation system, the road ahead seemed rough – and that’s because it was. But the team’s experienced proved true, as White used her advanced navigation skills to get them from checkpoint to checkpoint. Using only mental math and paper maps, she triangulated their location to estimate speed, distance, and find hidden checkpoints along the way that are necessary to finish the race. Mei’s experience and skill shined as the team drove blind, advancing steep hills and rough terrain with ease. By the final day of the competition, they were able to troubleshoot a fix for the odometer, allowing them to soar ahead to the top of the back. Finally finishing in fifth place, the team were proud of their accomplishments, and rightfully so. Noting that the experience made her a better navigator, White was proud of herself and her teammate for finishing despite the odds.

Team Kia observing the road at Rebelle Rally

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