202 Ford Performance WINS Rebelle Rally X-Cross Class

The sixth edition of the Rebelle Rally was the biggest yet with more teams, more kilometers covered, and more checkpoints (CPs) than ever before.  The eight-day rally started on the iconic Hoover Dam and worked its way through 2,275 kilometers of remote Nevada and California desert terrain in search of 190 CPs. With Tech Inspection held the Arizona side of the dam, the 2021 Rebelle was a three-state rally for the first time ever, but continues to be the longest competitive off-road navigation rally in the United States.  The rally went north to Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark and even travelled through breathtaking Titus Canyon in Death Valley National Park, a first for any organized competition.  After withstanding a sandstorm with gusts up to 100 mph, the rally returned to the shores of the Colorado River before culminating at the Imperial Sand Dunes (aka Glamis).

There are 2 types of daily competition; Check Points and Rally Enduro. Checkpoints are a list of longitude and latitude locations graded from Green, easy, Blue, moderate, and Black, most difficult. Competitors need to plot the checkpoints on their maps, navigate to them using only map and compass, signal their tracker and complete the checkpoints in order. Some days you can’t reach every checkpoint in the time allotted, so strategy is very important. The second type of competition is the Rally Enduro which is based on Time Speed Distance, TSD, style rallies. Competitors receive a road book with cryptic symbol instructions on where to turn, what speed to travel and how long you should take from A to B to C. Most days of competition were a combination of Check Points and Rally Enduro road books.     

The 2021 Rebelle saw the largest field of competitors to date, with 52 total entries across two classes- 4×4 and X-Cross™. This year there were 42 4×4 entries which are defined as four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case and ten X-Cross™ vehicles from the popular AWD and Crossover SUV segment. In addition to the two classes, there are special designations for Bone Stock, Rookie of the Year, International Cup, Team Spirit, and Electrified.

Team #202, Ford Performance, consists of Melissa Fischer Driver/Navigator, Cora Jokinen Navigator/Driver, and the very important third teammate, “Cody” the Bone Stock 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands Edition.

The 2021 Rebelle Rally was Melissa’s 6th Rebelle Rally, which makes her a 100% Rebelle, one whom has competed in every year of the Rally.  Cora and Melissa, formerly team #104, competed together in the first ever Rebelle Rally in in the 4×4 class in 2016 with a respectable  5th  place finish out of 37 teams and in 2017 a 4th place finish with 91% of the total points. Cora and Melissa have the honor to be called an “Original Rebelle” as they competed in the first ever Rebelle Rally. It was so good to get the team back together for 2021 and the results speak for themselves! One very interesting aspect to the 2021 Rally roles is that Melissa and Cora switched roles for most of the Rally. Previously Cora was the driver and in 2021 Melissa took the steering wheel while Cora Navigated. For the Enduro’s Melissa and Cora switched seats to break up the day. In previous years the team scored all the points for Enduro’s with Melissa reading the tulip notes and Cora driving. They kept this strategy for 2021 and successfully captured points in all of the Enduro’s.

In 2021 Melissa and Cora had the honor to Rally for Ford Performance. Switching from the 4xr4 class to the X-Cross class was a challenge in itself. The hardest ever X-Cross course ever and fierce competition from experienced Rebelle’s in the class made every day a nail-biting points race. Team #202 won 4 out of the 7 stages and carried a small lead into the last day, Stage 7, Glamis Sand Dunes. The Bronco Sport is an extremely capable platform and impressed the team day after day. But where the Bronco Sport really excels is in the Dunes! The Ford Bronco Sport features seven G.O.A.T. Modes (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) with the Badlands edition. Sand mode turns the Bronco Sport into a dune carving sand buggy with endless torque and a rear locker! Melissa confidently brought the team to checkpoints as Cora dead reckoned to some of the hardest black checkpoints giving them the points edge to land them in the #1 spot. After a long, hard, 7 days all the Rebelles breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed 2 more nights in Glamis. At the Awards Ceremony and Gala under the stars in Glamis the Rebelle’s, staff and Sponsors enjoyed a six-course meal by Drew Deckman and his staff delighting competitors’ taste buds.

Team #202 Melissa Fischer and Cora Jokinen are proud to bring a podium First Place finish for Ford Performance and the Bronco Sport in the Rebelle Rally X-Cross class!

The Rebelle Rally support team is absolutely incredible, they spend all year planning routes, pre-running and negotiating with multiple BLM districts. During the competition competitors are supported with professional timing and scoring, live online GPS tracking from Iridium, base camp staff, photographers and videographers, and probably everyone’s favorite, 3-star Michelin Chef, Drew Deckman and his awesome team. The Rebelle truly is a world class event.

It takes time and perspective to fully appreciate the Rebelle Rally for its many aspects; competition, strategy, navigation skills, driving skills, camping in the elements, long days, stress, fun, food, dust, scenery, awe and friendships. The professionalism and dedication of our Team, family and friends, combined with the continued support from our Marketing Partners ensures our future success, and for this we wish to say thank you.

Cora Jokinen  Navigator/Driver                                                   Melissa Fischer Driver, Navigator  

#202 Ford Performance                                                               #202 Ford Performance

President, Torq-Masters Industries