Women of The FIRM: Amy Ebert | @The FIRM Rally School

Women of The FIRM: Amy Ebert


THE DRIVER

Name- Amy Ebert
Age- 37
Racing Number-  21
Affiliation (if team)- Hidden World Racing
Sponsors- Tunewerks
Hometown- (where you grew up) Plymouth, MN
Occupation- Safety Engineer
Years competing- 5
Rallycross Debut: 2018
Notable Finishes: 1st place Prepared Front (PF) in 2018 & 2019, 2nd place PF in 2020 & 2021, 2nd place PF at the 2018 DirtFish Dixie National Challenge, and RallyCross Worker of the Year award in 2021.

THE CAR:
Year/Make/Model: 2015 Ford Fiesta ST
Nickname and reason behind the nickname(if applicable): The car’s name is Toothless – I found him for sale online as a wreck, waiting for rework at a body shop; he’d been rear-ended, but was otherwise intact. An all black car, quiet but agile, with “tail” damage; that matches the description of the main dragon character in the movie “How to Train Your Dragon”, so my husband and I decided to name him after that dragon: Toothless. We bought him, fixed him up, got him ‘flying’ again, and are constantly tweaking things to make him better, faster, stronger.
Racing Class: Modified Front (SCCA Rallycross); Group C (FIRM Rally-X)
Custom bodywork and/or paint:  Toothless has a red front fender; it’s the only part of the car that didn’t come with him when we bought him. The cheap, unpainted replacement fender we bought faded within a week, so it’s wrapped in red vinyl to match the tail prosthetic Toothless has in the HTTYD movies.
What engine is in the car?  1.6L 4cylinder turbo
Engine modifications and/or power adders? 2JR Cowl Induction intake, Whoosh Intercooler, Tunewerks custom tune (sponsored)
Cooling setup: Mountune Triple-pass Radiator (necessary for racing in FL) filled with EVANS NPG Waterless Engine Coolant, custom-wired stock fan – on full blast all the time; hood vents coming soon!
Horsepower and torque: I’ve never dyno’d Toothless, that’s still on the to-do list. Tunewerks, who supplied our custom tune, estimates that Toothless is making 204 WHP / 270 WTQ.
Transmission: 6-speed manual (no automatics in our garage!)
Front and rear axle: limited slip diff by M Factory
Suspension: Bilstein B6 heavy duty shocks, stock springs, Pierce Motorsports: upper front strut brace, lower chassis brace, trunk brace
Brake setup:  Hawk DTC-60 pads in stock calipers
Wheels & Tires, brands and sizes:
Street set: 15” Methods wrapped in Extreme Contact DW
Track set: 17” Stock “snowflakes” wrapped in General G-Max All-season 3s (not recommended for track use more than once)
Rally set: 15” Sparco Pista wrapped in Federal G-10 gravel rally tires
Future Goals for the car: Near-term, we plan to finish installing hood vents and maybe swap the ST knuckles for base-model Fiesta knuckles to raise the car a little. Long-term, we hope to eventually build up to a full cage, race seats, harnesses, the whole stage rally set-up!   


Out of four children, Amy Ebert was the one always found by her father’s side, whether she was helping him in the garage, attending automotive races or going to car shows, her passion for cars started at a young age. 

“I’ve always been into cars and thought I’d pursue a job in the auto industry; maybe an engineer or a car magazine contributor. To make sure I hit my goal, I aimed high: I got a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I ended up hitting high too, working for the Shuttle Program right out of college. Although I don’t work in the auto industry, I have a good job that supports my automotive hobby: rally racing” she says.  

Amy began pursuing her desire to compete in rally in 2017. After years of supporting her husband’s endeavors (pursuing a PhD), she told him it was time for him to support hers; and lucky for him, she wanted to rally race! She is currently in her 5th season of competing in SCCA Rallycross, and will be hitting a big milestone – her 50th competition racing event, sometime later this year!  

After four years of engineering school, which is historically male dominant, Amy admits to feeling comfortable in a familiar setting when racing where there are predominantly male competitors. She loves giving encouragement to any new females interested in getting behind the wheel. “I also love showing young girls that being a racecar driver is something any woman can do! The best way to encourage the next generation is to show them that it’s possible”, she adds.

While I could try and rewrite her story, I think this one is best told by Amy herself-


The car’s name is Toothless – I found him for sale online as a wreck, waiting for rework at a body shop; he’d been rear-ended, but was otherwise intact. An all black car, quiet but agile, with “tail” damage; that matches the description of the main dragon character in the movie “How to Train Your Dragon”, so my husband and I decided to name him after that dragon: Toothless. We bought him, fixed him up, got him ‘flying’ again, and are constantly tweaking things to make him better, faster, stronger.

Toothless is an all-around badass. I take him to SCCA Rallycross events, the FIRM’s RallyX events, car shows, private track days at the FIRM, and daily driving. For more than 3 years, my husband and I would drive him to the SCCA Rallycross event, swap to rally tires, race, then swap tires again back to street tires and drive home. In all those races, he only needed a trailer ride home once: he had broken the seal on an axle as a result of breaking a motor mount.

As we’ve done more upgrades, he’s become louder and less comfortable for long-haul driving, so he is spending more time with 4 wheels on the trailer instead of on the road, being carried to and from races instead of driven there and back. But he’s still my daily driver.


I love that rallycross is the reason Toothless has this whole new life as a racecar. It’s such a unique thing to say when someone asks what your hobbies include: “I race my daily driver in the dirt.” Working on Toothless has been a great learning experience and wonderful bonding opportunity for me & my spouse. We enjoy our time in the garage together, installing upgrades or debating over how to spend our car budget. Having this car in particular has been a great conversation starter and a great way to show folks, especially women, young and old that they can race too! Toothless is very approachable because he’s quiet, small, and named after a beloved cartoon creature; it’s so fun to see kids’ faces light up when I explain his name and that he’s a racecar! He’s not intimidating, but can still give you a run for your money.

My husband and I recently started our own racing team, Hidden World Racing. Following in the dragon theme, I love the idea that rally is an exploration of a Hidden World; you get to drive on roads so few others ever see, you get to explore the limits of your car that most daily drivers couldn’t fathom reaching, and you get to do it with your best friend beside you and a team of friends backing you up. The rally community, both locally in our SCCA region and at national events such as Sandblast, is filled with folks who really want to make sure everyone has fun and does their best. This Hidden World of rally highlights the BEST that the car enthusiast community has to offer. I also want to use Hidden World Racing to show everyone that you don’t have to have the biggest engine, you don’t need the most expensive car, and you don’t need to be a white male to compete and win; I’d really like to help open up this Hidden World of rally to everyone!

My plans/dreams/goals for racing are that I just want to keep enjoying it. Ultimately, that’s it, that’s my goal. When it’s no longer fun, or when it starts stealing fun from other aspects of my life (if I have to miss milestones in my children’s lives for races), then I’ll know that the balance is out of whack. My plan is to eventually drive/co-drive in a national stage rally, but I know that plans must be dynamic if they’re going to survive to fruition. And plans that are broken up into smaller, achievable parts are much more likely to succeed. So for now: the plan is to get Toothless ready for the next race, pick out the next upgrade, and make sure the family calendar has room for all the fun I can cram in there!
-As told by Amy Ebert

INSTAGRAM: @ToothlessRallyDragon or @HiddenWorldRacing

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