Honda R&D Teams to Compete in Rebelle Rally

Embracing Honda’s “Challenging Spirit,” two teams of associates from Honda R&D Americas, Inc. will compete in the 2018 Rebelle Rally women’s off-road navigation event. The rally, which starts on Oct. 11 in Lake Tahoe, Calif., will cover approximately 1,500 grueling off-road miles of desert and mountain terrain in California and Nevada over eight days, testing the skills and endurance of the driver/navigator teams and the off-road prowess and durability of their Honda vehicles.

While working on a Honda light truck project, Torrance, Calif.,-based HRA product planner Ariel Jen learned of the Rebelle Rally and saw the event as an opportunity. “I love to challenge myself and learn new things and the Rebelle Rally seemed like a perfect opportunity to do all those things,” said Jen. “It’s a way to learn more about the world of off-roading and trucks and to unite women at Honda to accomplish something amazing.”

Understanding that preparing for and participating in the event would provide project members valuable knowledge and experience they could bring to their various R&D roles and the demands of the off-road driving event would demonstrate the durability and reliability of Honda light trucks in extreme conditions, Honda management approved the project.

The Honda associate rally teams feature two driver/navigator combinations, the “Desert Dreamers” team #208 with Jen partnered with Torrance-based exterior stylist Lili Melikian in a 2019 Pilot, and the Ohio-based “Ridgeline Rebels” team #209 consisting of engine test engineer Maria Guitar teamed with crash test engineer Michelle Klein driving a 2018 Ridgeline.

The teams are currently preparing for the event, supported by more than two dozen Honda volunteers in both California and Ohio, with Honda supporting the associates’ initiative through funding, vehicles, shop space, practice/training opportunities and technical expertise.

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