TodayApril 15, 2022

Female rebels Rebelle in an Infiniti and beyond

2020 Rebelle Rally

The last time I saw Nicole, we were having high tea at the Mandarin Oriental. The last time I talked to Alice, she was going to have her highlights done, the world be damned. It is only fitting that these two women are going off-roading in the luxurious Infiniti QX80.

While the official name of Team 142 is the wander women, it should be true grit and true grace. They are a little bit of John Wayne’s Mattie Rose and Lauren Bacall’s “you know how to whistle don’t you Steve? you just put your lips together and blow.”

2020 rebelle rally Alice Chase

2020 rebelle rally Alice Chase

It took only a couple of calls to Wendy Orthman, General Manager of INFINITI Global Communications, based in Yokohama, Japan, to put this idea into motion, “Empowering the drive is our tag line, and few things are more empowering than women off-roading. Showcasing the unbridled enthusiasm, wit, and capabilities of female auto journalists like Alice and Nicole seemed like the perfect partnership. We are excited to take on the adventure with Team Wander Women and see it unfold through their eyes.”

“The Rebelle Rally is all about showcasing the incredible capabilities of the vehicle in your driveway, and many luxury makes have competed over the years, we thought it was time to add INFINITI to the illustrious list of competitors.”

“INFINITI QX80s are sold worldwide and are popular from the California desert to Russia and the Middle East. Rebelle allows us to showcase to a global audience that the QX80 has as much substance as style.”

The Ladies will join the international women’s navigational off-road competition on its 2000+ kilometer challenge 10-day competition from October 8 – 17, 2020, known as the 2020 Rebelle Rally.

2020 rebelle rally Nicole Wakelin

2020 rebelle rally Nicole Wakelin

Like Infiniti, the wander women are accomplished in the automotive world but new to the competition- Wander Women (Team 142) is comprised of Nicole Wakelin (driver) of New Hampshire and Alice Chase (navigator) of Texas. Both women are professional automotive journalists who possess decades of driving experience on and off-road and have covered the Rebelle as journalists.

What do you mean I won’t have a phone for ten days?

The rally spans over 2,000 kilometers, and participants will navigate using maps, a compass, and a route book to find hidden checkpoints with time checks. No GPS or outside help is permitted. This year, 40 pairs of women will drive production vehicles in 4×4 and Crossover classes. Supporters will be able to follow Wander Women’s journey on Infiniti’s Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube channels and

“We are excited to welcome Infiniti in this year’s Rebelle Rally. As the ultimate proving ground for vehicles, we look forward to seeing the QX80 showcase its abilities through the course’s wide variety of terrain,” said Emily Miller, founder, Rebelle Rally. “The entry is a testament to our motto, ‘the vehicle in your driveway is more capable than you realize.’”

Infiniti’s participation in the 2020 Rebelle Rally in California marks its first involvement in the rigorous off-road challenge and falls under the banner of “QXploration” – where Infiniti encourages owners of the QX line-up to use the luxurious vehicle on their driveway for urban escapes and adventures. The activation follows previous expeditions in breathtaking but unforgiving terrains of the Gobi Desert and Jordan. The QX80 is sold globally and is a favorite in regions like North America, the Middle East, and Russia, where available, the All-Mode 4WD and advanced Hydraulic Body Motion Control system make light work of conditions such as sand and snow.

Have a great time Ladies, I’ll be at the finish line, under the tent with high tea ready.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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