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July 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Verena is a driver in Rally America (not to be confused with Global Rally Cross). This a very unique kind of automotive racing. I’ve included an easy read explanation from the Rally American web site. The expalnation is further down in the post. It’s a must read.  If I any talent to be a race car driver I would try this venue. It appears to be a very, fun/challenging way to race.

Verena runs in the 2WD class. Of the the ten cars in the her class, with four of the six races completed, she holds down a respectible 5th place.

Verena has lead very full and exciting life. She has been a model, Hollywood actress, and has raced in several different venues.



A SPORT LIKE NO OTHER! There are no ovals, pace cars or rain delays. Rally racing features real cars racing against the clock on closed-off sections of real roads that are usually unpaved and unforgiving. Events can last several days and cover hundreds of miles through rain, snow, day or night. This extreme test of skill, speed and endurance is what makes rally racing the world’s premiere and most exciting motor sport, one that is quickly growing in North America.

 DRIVERS: Insiders and even casual fans consider rally drivers to be the best all around drivers on the planet. They must master every road surface and every weather condition while possessing the endurance and stamina needed to make it through long hours and hundreds of miles. As the old saying goes, “Circuit racers see 10 turns 1000 times while rally drivers see 1000 turns 1 time!”

 CO-DRIVERS: The key to rally drivers’ success are their co-drivers. Rally drivers cannot practice the course and must rely on their navigators (or co-driver) to survive. The co-driver uses a computerized odometer along with a supplied route book to communicate to the driver what lies ahead on the road. The route book describes in detail the road ahead and includes warnings for hazards such as cliffs, trees and junctions. Rally drivers determine what speed and angle to enter each turn or crest in the road by listening to their co-drivers’ constant instructions.

EVENTS: Gravel logging roads, mountain passes, well groomed forest roads – these are what make up the tracks for rally drivers. They are temporarily closed, actual public roads on which rally drivers can go flat out. With nine events held across the country, the Rally America Championship has a mix of everything from ice and snow in Michigan to super fast, smooth gravel in Pennsylvania. A typical Rally America Championship event will last two days and feature over 250 miles of roads split up into competitive stages and transit sections. The competitive stages, or “special stages” are where the action lies; these are timed sprints on roads that vary from 5 to 30 miles in length. The lowest cumulative time wins.

 THE CARS: A rally car is the ultimate real world sports car: one that is capable of high speed and incredible handling on any road surface and in every weather condition. Fast yet strong, they must survive hundred of miles and several days of torture. As an additional challenge, all rally cars must be street legal, since they must traverse public roads with traffic between the competitive timed sections. The Rally America Championship features a lineup of cars that average fans could buy from their local dealers, including Subaru WRX STis, Mitsubishi Evos, Ford Focuses and VW Golfs!

FANS: Watching rally on TV is a spectacle, but seeing it in person is an awe inspiring experience. Fans get to line the road, mere feet from the sliding, jumping and gravel spraying action. Fans can also freely check out the service areas where drivers and their teams repair the cars. Meeting your favorite driver and touching your favorite rally car are guaranteed. Tickets? Most rally events are totally free!

Verena was first introduced to racing while modeling for Toyo Tires. In 2002, Indy Car legend Bobby Unser Jr., suggested she go to stunt-driving school. Along with stunt driving school, she also attended the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School, where she ran a 9.46 second quarter-mile at 144 mph, earning her Pro Competition Drag Racing License and making her the fastest Asian-American female in the U.S. She got her start in drifting while training in 300 HP Roush Mustangs and was then supported by Nissan Motorsports who built her a 416 HP, twin-turbo 350Z to run in the Formula Drift series. While competing in Formula D, Verena was the top-female drifter in North America. She also competed in the Redline Time Attack series and became the first female to win a championship in that series.

In 2011, Verena started training with North American rally guru, Tim O’Neil, at the Team O’Neil Rally School.

Verena has hosted and starred in automotive TV shows, and also appeared in the blockbuster movies “ The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” and “Rush Hour 2.”

Verena is part of the TrueCar Racing “Women Empowered” initiative and will compete in Rally America in 2012 and 2013.


Series: Rally America

Team: Team O’Neil

Car and Number: #335 2011 Ford Fiesta

Hometown: Pearl City, Hawaii

Birthday: November 2

Resides: Littleton, New Hampshire

Racing Goal: Win a Rally Championship and a gold medal at the Summer X-Games

Fitness: Gym, karate, pilates, and kettlebells

Hobbies: Going to the beach or any outdoor adventure, movies, reading

Primary Sponsor: TrueCar

Associate Sponsor(s): Team O’Neil, Tokidoki

Twitter: @verenamei





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