I was reading an article today about a driver. I don’t even remember who it was about because I got mad as soon as I read the phrase “woman driver.”
I don’t necessarily object to playing the female card in relation to my driving. It’s an advantage I have as it makes me stand out. Playing up my female-ness also means that other drivers may underestimate me. There is nothing I like more than people having a preconceived notion and then blowing them out of the water. And anyway, I like being a girl. In many ways we have more options than men. I can go to my day job in a theatre and play with pretty clothes and make up, but then the next day I can don my race suit and get dirty and for the most part, society doesn’t really think twice. But you take a male racer and throw him into the world of theatre and dance costumes…yeah people are going to judge him. I could make a comment about how that indicates that women and the work we traditionally do, the clothes we traditionally wear, etc are still looked down upon as being less than valuable, but that’s a whole other Oprah.
What I really want to talk about is GRAMMAR! Though I taught English as a Second Language for a while, I do not profess to be your Grammar Homecoming Queen. However, if journalists are going to make a gender distinction when it comes to drivers I implore them…please, please, PLEASE do it correctly! If you go way back in the way back machine to your 5th grade English lesson, you’ll remember that an adjective describes a noun. For example, “loud exhaust,” “broken shock,” or “expensive engine.” The correct word to describe my gender is “female”. Setting aside the notion that “driver” doesn’t need to be qualified at all, I should be referred to as a “female driver,” not “woman driver.” “Woman” is a noun and it can not describe another noun. Similarly, my pal Tut Cote of Tut Tech Racing should be referred to as a “male driver,” not a “man driver” (but even saying that, don’t you feel kind of dorky?).
Look, I appreciate the differences between males and females. Why do you think I love a good Alpha male? I do my fair share of all girl racing, from MORE’s annual Powder Puff to raise money for breast cancer research to the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, a 9 day rally through the deserts of Morocco with no GPS. And on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the greatest level of annoyance, I’m at a 5 at being written about as a “female driver.” It can be a bit exasperating, but it certainly does not inspire a DEFCON 1 alert.
Just don’t call me a “woman racer.” I’ll hit you with my grammar stick and the grammar stick leaves no dangling participles.
Well, in what some may call “crazy” and I refer to as “quirky and charming”, I got back last night at 2:30am after solo driving nearly 1000 miles at one stretch from outside Tampa, FL to DC. I realized that was my second longest marathon solo car drive, the longest being from Santa Cruz, CA to Glenwood Springs, CO this past summer. Although I did nap a bit on that 1100 mile drive, so maybe it doesn’t count. Nah….it counts!
Okay, maybe only two videos. Not a lot to report in my off road racing world. We are still looking for a 2 seater class 10, 12, or 1600. Chassis and suspension only is okay. Shoot me an email if you know of anything.
A few weeks ago I got to test the 2012 Beetle for Roadfly. The good volks at VW have completely redesigned it: no more flower vase, no more doinky little tail lights. It’s much more butch now and tho the turbo takes a second to spool up, once it does the car is a lot of fun. The full review should be up on Roadfly in a few weeks.
Photo by Andrew Albosta. He’s kinda good.
Things for Gazelles are slowly moving forward. Michele has been working on getting us classified as a non-profit and I’ve been busy brainstorming possible sponsors. I will definitely talk to the Moroccan embassy here in DC. I’m here…I might as well use all the resources I got.
Well, we had an awesome, albeit unsuccessful, weekend at Powder Puff. No, let me take that back. We raised just over $2000 for Cedars-Sinai Breast Cancer Research Center, so we were successful in that regard. I hate to say it, but car 549 did not even get past race mile 4. Let me elaborate.
It was a bright and breezy Friday afternoon when I arrived at the Hall Ass Racing pits just outside Barstow. Dad had the baja there and she was looking good. The motor had been fixed since our debacle at the Mexican 1000 and she now sports a single carburetor. The transmission was in good working order, shocks were dialed in and looking good. Gail and I went out for a pre-run and were happy to find that there was a new section to the course…a fast section! It took you on a little trail that was flat and curvy, then dumped you out on to the familiar dry lake bed around a fun corner to where you had your choice of lines before it got really rocky and technical again. Even just cruising we did the 30 miles in about 50 minutes, putting our average speed at about 36mph.
But alas, I was never to get past the first road crossing on race day. We lined up behind the car to beat, 5011. Wendy Belk was at the wheel and she is FAST. That car has a lot of money in it so with a good driver behind the wheel, I knew I had my driving cut out for me.
I took off about 20 seconds behind her and we were looking good. Gail, my co-driver, was feelin’ it, I was feelin’ it…we could see Wendy’s dust not too far up. I’m not saying I would have caught her on the ridge, but I might have caught her on the ridge. And oh, how pride goeth before the fall.
We didn’t hit hard. At least, I didn’t think so. We just hit a regular old whoop and suddenly I was having a hard time controlling the car. And it was making a funny noise. And it smelled weird. I got off the course and radioed back, “Car 549 race to base…something’s wrong.” Eric Cox was out there in his truck and he came over to help. Jay and the Russian sped out to us in their chase vehicle, and the diagnosis began.
The rear driver’s side was completely collapsed. Shocks looked good so we knew it had to be the torsion bar. We radioed back to base to see if we had another. The answer came back negative. And this is where I got a wee bit bitchy. I called back, “I have money. You get to McKenzie’s or KarTek right now and get me one!”
So they did. Jay and the Russian towed us back to the pits and they started breaking it down. At this point, we knew we were just going to be racing for fun. You only have 3 hours to do as many miles as you can, and if we couldn’t get it fixed by 10:30 there was no point in even getting out there at all. They did get the torsion bar changed, but were just guessing at the angle index, so 549 just sank back on her haunches.
But here’s the thing: that’s racing. It’s not the first time I’ve DNF-ed and it certainly won’t be the last. We had a good time, our pals at Tut Tech Racing did really well, I met some great people, and shot the shit with some old friends. Half the fun of racing is the social aspect, and I’m glad I got to pal around a bit. Am I disappointed? Sure. But I had a few good races with Desert Dingo and I have Gazelles to look forward to.
And….I won the logo contest! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who voted for me. Considering I got over 1000 votes, I’m pretty sure I don’t know most of the people who voted, so THANK YOU for supporting a small time off roader like me. There was a bit of a kerfluffle with the server at Studio Rhoad and in the interest of fairness, they are designing logos for ALL of us, which you have to admit is a classy thing to do. I’ll post it up here for sure when it’s finished!
Finally, we are looking for a new car. 2 seater 1600 or class 10 or 12. Chassis and suspension only is okay. I hate to move away from my beloved air cooled, but if we go class 10 or 12, we’re thinking ecotec.
Here is video of the most exciting four miles you will ever see in racing:
PS: After the race Pepper and I went out for a joy ride in her car, Kitt. We got a flat tire. At race mile 4. I swear I can’t make this stuff up.
Hey all! I’m competing to have a logo made for my race team from Studio Rhoad. I’m sort of losing and would appreciate if you could take about one minute to help me out. Just go to this link – http://studiorhoad.com/blog/motorsports-logo-contest-finalists-announced-voting-is-open/ – click on my bio, scroll down and vote for me. One minute tops. I promise.
I’m competing against two serious pavement racers…let’s show everyone that the DIRT is what DOMINATES!
Roadfly’s first car review was for the 2005 Audi A4, so it was only fitting that our 400th review be an Audi as well: the 2012 A6. Check out my review below. It’s over 7 minutes long because we wanted to spend some well deserved time in the interior. It’s a tech geek’s dream come true!
I’ve got my first radio interview coming up this Sunday, October 2nd on SOCAL Off Road Radio on KCBQ 1170AM at 7pm PST. Michele and I, along with Team Courage badass Heather Berger will be chatting with host Dave Stall about Gazelles, next week’s Powder Puff, the Team Courage brand, and our general awesominity. You can listen live online at www.kcbq.com.
Speaking of Powder Puff, time has run out to donate via my Indie GoGo page, but we raised almost $2000 for Cedars-Sinai Breast Cancer Research Center. It’s not too late to donate, though. You can go here and donate directly to Cedars-Sinai.
And if you’re in the San Diego area, take a look at my previous post about our fundraiser at Hooters on Monday, October 3rd.
Unfortunately, I will not be there. I know, I know…its very sad. But you can meet Michele and her crew and get to know them like you’ve gotten to know me. You’ll love her. I promise.
Some great video has surfaced from VORRA’s 24 hour endurance race on Labor Day weekend, where I helped Desert Dingo’s 1107 take first in class. You can read my race report in a previous post, but let’s just say it was a rockin’ good time. At any rate, here is your video fix.
We are getting ready for the Powder Puff on October 8th just outside Barstow, CA. All female drivers and co-drivers, racing for the cure. Dad has made his way back to his summer digs in Colorado to pick up the car and get packed for his winter move to Mexico (I know, rough life, right?). He’ll trailer 549 out to California and work with Jimmy of Shook Hawk Performance Engines to make sure the carburation is right. If you recall, that’s what did us in at the Mexican 1000 in May.
I’ll arrive in CA on Thursday night, then run out to see Dave Bonner at Kartek to get a new helmet. I’ve been wearing a hand me down and really need to get something that fits better. Plus I want it orange. The most obnoxious orange you have ever seen. I want my helmet to look like the neon sweatshirt I had in 1986 (when I was 4, natch), but multiplied by 100 in brightness.
Friday will be a pre-run day and we’ll take the car through tech late in the afternoon. This is always a fun time as a lot of the guys are in some kind of drag and people have decorated their cars with pink feathers, ribbons…there is even one car that shows up every year with a huge bra on the front end. Hilarious.
All proceeds from the Powder Puff will go to Cedars-Sinai Breast Cancer Research Center. It’s our team goal to raise $5000, and we still have a long way to go. You can help us out, even with $10 (but we’ll take your $Hunnies too!) by going to my fund raising page.
It looks like we’ll be pitting with Team Courage Racing and Tut Tech Racing, and whoever THEY decide to bring out. I imagine about a half a mile of pits where we all know each other and help each other out. Should make for a raucous party on Saturday after the race!
There are a few more surprises I am working on for the Powder Puff. I’m not sure if it’s all going to pan out, so I’m keeping quiet for now. Can’t guarantee how long THAT will last! In the meantime, check out the cool video from Powder Puff 2009. You might see a bit of little ol’ me in there somewhere.
It seems I’ve hit the ground running since I got back from Santa Cruz. I’ve moved into a new office at work, formed a team to take on the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles (more on that later), and have made plans to drive again for Desert Dingo in the next event, a 24 hour endurance race.
But what I want to talk about right now is boobs. Do you have boobs? Do you like people that have boobs? Then help us save boobs! Every year Hall Ass Racing campaigns our class 5-unlimited baja in the Powder Puff race in Barstow, CA. The event raises over $100,000 for Cedar Sinai Breast Cancer Research Center and we are so proud to be a part of it.
But take it from me, this ain’t your mom’s race for the cure. We are in it to win it. The race routinely draws over 175 cars and 25,000 people descend on Barstow to watch us get dirty. Competitors run the gamut from noobs who have only watched their husbands or boyfriends to professional lady racers with many podium finishes in SCORE, SNORE, and BITD.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, after skin cancer. Today, approximately 1 in almost every 8 women (13.4%) will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer — and is the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 54. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2009, approximately 192,370 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and approximately 40,610 will die. Although these numbers may sound frightening, research reveals that the mortality rate could decrease by 30% if all women age 50 and older who need a mammogram had one.
Only 5% to 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a clearly defined genetic predisposition for the disease. The majority of breast cancer cases are “sporadic,” meaning there is no direct family history of the disease. The risk for developing breast cancer increases as a woman ages. (WebMD)
There is a link to my IndieGoGo fundraising page to the left of this blog. If you’ve got a few bucks, I hope you’ll consider donating. There are even a few perks available, like Hall Ass Racing t-shirts and magnets, even an opportunity for a ride in the co-driver’s seat! Sorry guys…females only.
In 2009 we came in 4th in class, 2010 saw us earn 2nd (even after a last minute engine swap, no power steering, and the loss of second gear)…I’m thinking 2011 is our year to win!
I leave tomorrow evening for VORRA’s inaugural Master Pull USA500 in Reno, Nevada. We’ll have a day of media, tech and contingency, and I’ll even sneak in a Roadfly review! Local Motors will be there with their Rally Fighter and if all goes well I’ll get some face time with their Chief Sales Officer and get to drive it around a bit.
I’ll be co-driving or driving about 120 miles total of the 500 mile course for Desert Dingo Racing. Jim has been an awesome mentor in PR and social media for me. I’m going to pay him back by showing him how to drive!
To be honest, I’m glad the Dingo is ahead in points for the season. It takes a little bit of pressure off. We will have six (!) drivers on this race and I want to kick ass. Just not *too* much ass. Class 11 is a much slower class than I am used to, and a big challenge for me, besides the usual stay focused mantra, will be to remember that I’m not in a class 5 unlimited. This race will be slower and rougher than anything I’ve done so far. Well…almost anything
You can follow along if you’re so inclined on the Twitter. I’m @MMMotorsports and I’ll be using the hashtag #USA500. I’ll post pics and video as much as I can.
And if you’ve ever wanted to see me in a dress driving what can only be described as one of the oddest production vehicles on the road these days….
The folks at Roadflydug up some older footage of me testing the 2011 Range Rover out in the mud. It just proves that I am the textbook example of dork. An entertaining dork, but dork nonetheless. Enjoy!
I am quite pleased with this review, so I am publicly saying to myself, “Good job, Emme!”
Well, dad has gotten the baja all ready to go for the Mexican 1000. YAY! 2180cc engine, new tranny, dual 40 mm Dellorto carburetors. We’ve also got a new tire rack on the back that will fit a front or rear tire, and a roof rack. Dad has promised pictures soon. The San Felipe 250 is this weekend. The gang down in Mexico will be watching from Matomi wash. I really hope to be able to race in the 250 soon.
A few pictures for y’all. I got my mug in the March issue of S & S Off Road. Here’s a screen shot.
And it seems I am now driving around a bit of a Franken-Miata. I got the SECOND tear in a month in the top of the car. I had put the top down this morning to bring a dress mannequin to work (don’t ask), and later in the day when I popped it back up…huge tear! I’ve fixed them both with Shoe Goo. It’s raining now…I hope it lasts. The Shoe Goo, not the rain. I just need to buy myself a few weeks until work slows down. Then its hello roll bar and brand spanking new top!
February 17, 2011, Washington, D.C. - Emme Hall of Hall Ass Racing – http://www.hallassracing.com - will tackle the 2011 outing of the historic NORRA Mexican 1000 race down the Baja Peninsula as one half of a father-daughter team with her dad, longtime racer Larry Hall.
The second running of the revived NORRA 1000 takes place May 5-7, starting in Mexicali and ending three grueling days later in La Paz. The two are campaigning Larry’s Class 5 “Trophy Bug” which Emme Hall drove to a second place class finish at the 2010 MORE Powder Puff race last October. More than 50 off road race cars from 1955-1991 are expected to participate in the race.
“We need more women drivers in off road racing,” Emme Hall said. “I want to inspire other women to get behind the wheel.”
Larry Hall raced the entire SCORE series, including the Baja 1000 from 1986-1992 and was a member of the Chapala Dusters race club. He built the Class 5 racer in 2007 as a weekend fun car with some friends. The MORE Powder Puff race, which raises more than $120,000 annually for breast cancer research, was Emme Hall’s first competitive outing. The NORRA race will be the first time the two have raced together.
“I’m excited to show him what I can do behind the wheel and learn from him when he takes his turn,” Emme Hall said. “It should be a great time.”
NORRA (National Off Road Racing Association) was founded in 1967 and was instrumental in organizing the first races in Mexico. Some of the best racers in the history of Baja will be participating in this year’s race, including Off Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Walker Evans and 12 time SCORE International Baja 1000 overall winner Larry Roeseler.
About Hall Ass Racing
Hall Ass Racing consists of Emme and Larry Hall as well as a team of unpaid but highly appreciated mechanics and welders. Emme lives in Washington, D.C. and Larry splits his time between Colorado and Mexico. Emme is a costumer for Ford’s Theatre and does car reviews for Roadfly TV. She hopes to begin Solo competition with the Sports Car Club of America in her 2001 Mazda Miata this summer. To learn more visit http://www.hallassracing.com.
NORRA released the list of classes for this year’s Mexican 1000 and all I can say is…wow. FIFTEEN classes in the Vintage Division, and five classes in the Evolution Division. NORRA’s motto is “Honoring the Past-Forging the Future” and they are definitely working their goals. Looks like Dad and I will be in class 4A : Non-production two-wheel drive buggy style vehicles raced with two or more occupants pre-1991 with less than 2000cc engines.
Since we’re rebuilding the engine from the blowout before the Powder Puff, we’ll fit right into this class. We were running a 2180cc with dual Weber carbs, but now we’re down to an 1835cc. Dad and Jimmy were thinking about only running a single carb, which I definitely don’t like, but I defer to Shook Hawk Performance Engines on the mechanics. I’ll make sure to kick up a lot of dust either way!
2/9/11 CORRECTION: We will actually be running in Class 9: pre-1991 baja bugs. What does this mean? It means I’m calling Dad and Jimmy and demanding the 2180cc engine goes back in!
In other news, my latest review is up . It really is amazing how people either love me or hate me. It’s mostly love, I think. Sometimes it’s hard to read people’s criticisms, but ain’t no way I can please everybody. My boss at Roadfly is happy with my style, I’m happy with my style…I guess that’s all I can do. Haters gonna hate but at the end of the day, I’m the one driving the cars, bitches!
Dad and I are getting pretty excited about the Mexican 1000. I’ve got my plane tickets all squared away, DC-San Diego on the way out, then a jumper flight from Loreto, Baja California-LAX, then red eye LAX-DC. I’ll probably roll up into work all dirty and tired, but who cares? I’d fly 24 hours straight if I knew I’d get a chance to race.
I’ve been chatting with a pal about feminism and off road racing; what it means to be a female in this sport. I’m not sure why it matters, since racing cars requires guts and smarts, which are not determined by gender. But it is a male dominated sport, and being a female trying to break into it, I will have to discuss feminism at some point. Fortunately, many have gone before me, notably Judy Smith. She was inducted into the Off-Road Hall of Fame in 2008 for her, oh 40+ years of being a part of the community, either as a member of a pit crew, a journalist, racer, or photographer. But my point is, she’s in her 70′s and she’ll be racing in Class 11 (!) at this year’s Mexican 1000. We’ve met on Facebook and we have plans to chat in person. So awesome! You can read all about her here.
My Roadfly review for the 2011 Infiniti FX50 is up. You can check it out here. I watched it, and by watching I mean I had it on my monitor, volume on low, while I kind of looked at it while trying not to. Yeah, not so good at watching myself at this point. Hopefully I’ll get better at it!
I can’t believe that I’m actually pleased with my first review. I am usually super hyper critical of myself, and honestly I was afraid to watch this. I had to have Jenny and Karina on the phone with me before I would watch it. You know, for moral support. But I am really happy with it. I know I’m gushing a bit, but this is a new feeling for me.
Next up is the 2011 Infinity FX50. This reviewing gig is pretty damn cool!
Well, it looks like I’ll be doing some car reviews for RoadflyTV on You Tube. They are the fourth largest car review site on You Tube and their videos routinely get tens of thousands of hits. Sweet! You can check out fellow reviewer Ross Rapaport’s take on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland below.
And while you’re checking out their You Tube channel , why not subscribe and you’ll be emailed when my review of the 2011 Jetta is up.
You can also check outwww.roadfly.com , the complete automotive resource for buyers, sellers, and owners like you. And ME!
In an effort to rid myself of my “All Talk, Very Little Walk” persona, I recently learned how to change a tire. Yep…I’ve been off roading my entire life, I can heel-toe shift with the best of them, and have caught more air than Southwest in that baja, yet I had no idea how to change the tire. So if you’re interested in seeing how it’s done, check out the video below.