Team American Chaos’ Stellar Performance Leg 1 Pushes Them Ahead

by chaosfab on March 25, 2016

March 24th, 2016 (CORONA, CA) – This morning at 6 a.m.,162 international teams began their first official competition day in the 26th Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles. With low visibility from raging windstorms and blinding conditions at times, the rally showed many competitors they can plan for everything, and nothing may go according to plan.


Teams at the start line


Team #180 American Chaos was one team that sailed smoothly into the storm. Coming off a second place in yesterday’s unscored prologue, Beavis and Pitell-Vaughan’s skills lead them to a dead-on competition day where they nailed all six checkpoints.  The Leg consisted of a 105 km looped leg with estimated time of 8.5 hours. A wide, flat zone greeted teams with rugged terrain later setting in.  Beavis was able to keep a seemingly flawless straight heading over a long distance, demonstrating what a top finish track looks like.


Beavis and Pitell-Vaughan plotting their final checkpoint of the day


“My overall anxiety this year is pretty low compared to the first year I did the rally,” said Beavis.  “Last year the limitations of our vehicle in the Crossover class was my biggest concern, so I’m much more at ease in the TC Taco.”

Known as one of the toughest all-female sporting events on the planet, physically and mentally the rally is exhausting. Beavis has taken cue from her past two rallies coming into her third.

“I know now how to just take it one flag at a time, and by breaking down your anxiety that way, it becomes very manageable,”  stated Beavis.  They was the first American team back to the bivouac today, and it’s anticipated they will be in the top five of their 4×4 class when the Leg’s rankings post Friday.


The “Morocco Taco”


Teams in the rally will now begin to feel the heat.  Long days inside the vehicle together while the weather is playing tricks on them can be strenuous. Communication is key.

“I don’t expect any of this rally to be easy,” said Pitell-Vaughan. “We have an amazing team inside our CRC/TOTAL CHAOS Toyota Tacoma and with the USA Gazelles.  Keeping a positive attitude and taking care of one another are going to be key factors in this rally.”

Change-ups can happen at any time during the competition, but starting and staying strong is important. To win, teams must not make mistakes and continue to have good days out on the Legs.


Gazelle Spirit in full affect as Team #180 assist another team


A Day in the Life

Every minute counts for the “Gazelles,” and teams need to make the most of time.  Days are long with a short amount of time from bivouac arrival to unpacking the vehicle, organizing the next day, fueling, and getting into the mechanics area before a penalty can kick in. Tools, food, clothing, and gear all need to be in their designated location to avoid loosing equipment.  That said, even packing can be considered a strategy as wasted minutes over something like unsecured gear can have consequences.

“4 a.m. wake-up calls are no joke, and we have a clear set of rules for for the team.  Every morning will be a system of tear down by Chrissie.  I run to the impound area, grab the truck and make any necessary repairs. Then we pack up, check out the staging line, park, plot, eat, and hit the ground running.”


Checkpoint time!


Coming up

The next seven days of competition will include two Marathon Legs – days where teams camp on their own and scores begin to separate as fatigue sets in.  The last day of competition is March 31st, and final results will be presented on Saturday, April 2nd, at a gala held in the iconic coastal town of Essaouira, Morocco.


Friendly spectators


Follow Team #180 American Chaos

Live tracking of teams begins at 6 a.m. local time (11 p.m PST) on the

Rankings from each Leg are not official until noon local time the next day.  Official rankings can be pulled from the website: