Pride of Merritt competes at 2012 Pacific Forest Rally
When she’s not taking care of patients as a nurse at a local hospital, Merritt’s own Nicki Beverley takes care of business at various rally events across Canada and the U.S.
Several years ago, the 24-year-old would-be driver got talking to some of the competitors at the annual Pacific Forest Rally in her hometown. After watching the drivers “come around the corners and go over the cattle guards ridiculously fast,” she was hooked on the sport.
“My first real rally was in 2005, when I competed as a teenager in a TSD rally in Kamloops as a novice,” Beverley said. “I did terribly, but had the time of my life and it was a great introduction to the sport.”
Beverley could not afford to actually compete in those days, so she volunteered with the Westcoast Rally Association and worked every position — from marshalling to stage commander -— to learn as much as possible about her new passion.
From there, Beverley moved on to the organizational side of rally competitions and helped to run many of the regular Westcoast rallies -— Heart of Darkness, Mountain Trials, Big White Rallycross and PFR — always with the ultimate view of competing.
The opportunity to actually compete in a performance stage rally came at the 2011 PFR, and Beverley has never looked back. In the past year, she has also competed in the long, cold Alcan 5000 Rally from Seattle, Wash. to Anchorage, Alaska, as well as the Baie des Chaleurs in Quebec.
With a solid season behind her, Beverley says she feels very comfortable in a rally car and “loves racing in Merritt where the roads are incredibly challenging compared to other venues in Canada.”
The 2012 Pacific Forest Rally, which will be held on Oct. 12-13 in the Nicola Valley, will mark the 57th rally that Beverley has attended in one capacity or another, and the 9th stage rally in which she has been a co-driver.