Team American Chaos Officially Makes History as Highest Ranking American Team Ever in 4×4 Class

by chaosfab on April 4, 2016

April 4th, 2016 (CORONA, CA) – This past weekend, Team #180 American Chaos became the highest-ranking American team ever in the 4×4 class of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles’ 26 year history.

With a beachside parade on Friday and prize ceremony the following day in the coastal town of Essaouira, Morocco, Nicole Pitell-Vaughan and Chrissie Beavis’ ranking of second place was officially confirmed.

Beavis and Pitell-Vaughan on the beaches of Essaouira, Morocco

Beavis and Pitell-Vaughan on the beaches of Essaouira, Morocco

In the hunt for the win since day one, the team fought crucially hard for the top spot.  Beginning in first place of their 4×4 class, Team American Chaos slipped into second after Leg 3’s performance, where a scratch ranking of three ultimately shifted their overall ranking to two.  Refusing to give up, they battled out the following competition days with consistency in both driving and navigation despite overcoming a broken rear shock mount, blinding windstorms, and a loss of daylight while assisting another U.S. team.  A strong performance kept them in the top two throughout, but unfortunately wasn’t enough to clinch the coveted top spot.

Terrain varied from rocky to smooth and kept teams on their toes

Terrain varied from rocky to smooth and kept teams on their toes

Team #179 Régine Zbinden and Ela Steiner of Switzerland were a tough act to beat, with impeccably smooth, straight lines putting them in a prime position.  In this ultimate moving chess game where competitors faced difficult decisions of strategy, Team American Chaos provided a nail-biting finish for not only their rivals, but also fans of the team and the rally.  They finished just 1.82 km (1.13 miles) behind first place.

The CRC/TOTAL CHAOS Toyota Tacoma performed flawlessly

The CRC/TOTAL CHAOS Toyota Tacoma performed flawlessly

“It was the kind of thing where we just did everything that we could,” said professional navigator Beavis.  “We had excellent competition and it made it really fun and really challenging.”

 

The rally is a brutal test of skill and endurance, pushing competitors’ limits both physically and mentally.  And Pitell-Vaughan and Beavis wouldn’t have it any other way.  From crossing the famed Erg Chebbi dunes to the grandiose cliffs of M’daouer to rock crawling the Moroccan desert, these two brought their A-game and are proud to break a record for the United States.

Team American Chaos celebrate their finish

Team American Chaos celebrate their finish

“I would like to thank CRC and TOTAL CHAOS for their support as well as all of our other program sponsors.  And thank you Morocco for welcoming the rally,” stated Pitell-Vaughan.  “The game was so close and intense for nine straight days.  Mental fatigue was a factor on day nine.  It was an amazing experience.  I look forward to returning to the States and beginning preparation to compete in the Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno race in August.”

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All Photos:  Nicole Dreon/Maïenga

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