The 25th all female Rallye Aicha des Gazelles will take place March 20-April 4 and America will be sending 10 teams. European competitors will start with technical verifications March 20 in Paris, with American teams joining them in Rabat, Morocco on March 24. From there teams will travel over the Atlas Mountains to Erfoud to start the 9-day competition.
Team 180 Real. American. Chaos will be competing in the 2015 Gazelle Rally in a very well prepared Toyota Tacoma. Teammates Nicole Pitell-Vaughan and Jessi Combs will share driving and navigating duties in the 2014 Total Chaos Tacoma Double Cab.
The Tacoma has a host of modifications including:
– TOTAL CHAOS +2” Race Series Long Travel Kit
– TOTAL CHAOS 4340 Axleshafts
– TOTAL CHAOS Secondary Shock Hoops
– TOTAL CHAOS Heavy Duty Spindle Gussets
– TOTAL CHAOS Alignment Cam Tab Gussets
– King-TC LT Specific 2.5” Coilover Shocks
– King-TC LT Specific 2.5” External Bypass Shocks w/ Quick Adjust Knobs
– DMZ Fab & Race Prep SUA Kit
– Deaver SUA Leafsprings
– King 2.5” x 14” External Bypass Shocks w/ Quick Adjust Knobs
– Custom TOTAL CHAOS Under the Bed Shock Hoops
– TOTAL CHAOS Bolt-on Rear Bumpstop Mounting Kit
– King 2.0” Hydraulic Bumpstops
– 1.50″ Synergy wheel spacers
– Glassworks Unlimited Fiberglass Front Fenders
– TOTAL CHAOS Custom Fiberglass Bumper Pods
– Glassworks Unlimited Rear Bedsides
– Paint by Mike Callaway
– FN Wheels 16”x8” Countersteer Type X
– Falken Wildpeak A/T 285/75R16
– TRD 4.0L Supercharger
– K&N Custom FilterCharger – Custom TOTAL CHAOS Front Bumper/Skidplate
– Warn Winch
– Baja Designs Squadron XL’s on electric actuator
– Baja Designs LED Work Lights, Dust Lights, Dome Lights
– Custom TOTAL CHAOS Rear Bumper
– Synergy Sit, Shower, Shave Kit
– Custom TOTAL CHAOS Aluminum Fresh Water Tank
Participants in the Gazelle Rally are not allowed chase crews, cell phones, or GPS. Points are awarded for shortest distance between checkpoints, not fastest time. Teams can choose their route with the help of an old map, a plotter, and a compass. There is no roadbook. Teams are given map coordinates and must plot them on their maps, find their heading, then drive in as straight a line as possible. If a team comes upon an obstacle, be it a wash or a mountain, they must navigate around it and then return to their original heading.
With the exception of the marathon legs, teams return each night to a mobile bivouac, where they eat, sleep, gas up, and receive mechanical assistance.
While having a prepared pre-runner truck means the women will have an advantage over many other teams who rent stock trucks, it also means they must be careful to not out-drive their navigation skills, especially since both Pitell-Vaughan and Combs come from a desert racing background.
Combs currently holds the speed record for a woman on four wheels, won her class at the 2014 Nitto King of the Hammers Smitty Built Everyman Challenge, and has podium finished at the Baja 1000. She is well known for her hosting gigs on All Girls Garage, Mythbusters, and Overhaulin’. Her wrenching and fabricating skills are a huge asset as teams are required to fix their own trucks during the day should any issues arise.
As the co-founder, Marketing Director and CFO of Total Chaos Fabrication, Pitell-Vaughan is just as handy with a wrench as Combs. Known by her nickname CHAOS (yes, in all capitals), Pitell-Vaughan is a whirlwind of energy and knowledge. She has raced off road on two and four wheels for 17 years, earning many class wins and top ten finishes. Under her leadership Total Chaos has become a globally recognized performance off road suspension and accessory manufacturer and dominates the aftermarket Toyota bolt on equipment industry. She has an insatiable curiosity and is always looking to live outside her comfort zone.
We’ll be posting daily updates on TFL Car, but you can follow all the American teams and even send them messages of encouragement at www.gazellerally.com.
Check out this quick TFLtruck preview of another Toyota Tacoma with TotalChaos goodies on it.