Happy Thanksgiving!
It is hard to believe that it is already mid-November.  The semester at school is beginning to wrap up and stores are already playing their Christmas music.  While, I may be as excited as the next person about the Holiday Season finally being here, I am most excited for Thanksgiving. T hanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.  I’ve memories of olive covered fingers at Thanksgiving dinner in years past and family snowball fights.  This year, I find that I have so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my family, my friends, my sponsors, my teammates, my competitors, and for my fans.  I am thankful for all of you who are reading this.  Your continued support means the world to me.  As things continue to come together for the 2012 season, I look forward to sharing plans and details.

May all of you have a warm and happy holiday season. I hope that everyone enjoys time with family while we prepare for 2012.

SEMA Show 2011
I attended the annual SEMA show for the first time in 2010. Spending three full days at the show wasn’t nearly enough to take everything in. It’s like the organizers took everything that I am passionate about and put it all into one giant convention center.

I was very excited to have the opportunity to attend the show again.  This year’s show was very productive, I had the opportunity to meet with a lot of great people while in Las Vegas.  I had the opportunity to build a lot of really solid connections and relationships that I look forward to developing, throughout the 2012 race season.  Trying to minimize the amount of classes I missed this semester, I chose to just spend two very busy days at the show.  I was bummed not be able to spend the whole week there, but I was able to put a lot into those two days.

Thursday night, I got to have dinner with some of my favorite people.  For the most part, the people who race the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb are like a family.  It was nice to have the chance to catch up with drivers like Bill Caswell, Dave Carapetyan, Ken Stouffer, and Anthony Perez.  Friends of these drivers and drivers from different events attended the dinner as well.  There was lots of smiles and memories made as we all discussed our plans for 2012.  I’m looking forward to seeing all of them again the first week of July at Pikes Peak.

Ambitions for 2012
In the industry that we work in, people are always bound to talk.  There have been several changes in program as I work towards the future seasons, and I know that there are already some things being said.  All of you have supported me through the years, and I value that support immensely.

I have parted ways with Grant Barclay and the Built-By-Bones race team.  While I am incredible grateful for the support that their program has provided to me over the years, it was time for us to go our different ways.  This decision was not made lightly, but I truly feel that it was for the best.  With that being said, I will not be returning in ‘Michele the MINI’ to Pikes Peak in 2012.

I still have every intention of returning to the World’s Most Famous Hill Climb, and I have been putting together plans for a program for Pikes Peak.  While I won’t be in the yellow MINI, I promise that my return will be just as exciting and filled with just as much passion as the prior programs.  There are no plans finalized just yet though.  With registration for Pikes Peak already open, I know that the next few months will be very busy as things begin to come together. After spending time with the Pikes Peak Family at SEMA, there is not a doubt in my mind about my intention of returning to Pikes Peak.

I apologize for amount of time between this newsletter and my previous one.  Things have been a little bit busier this fall than I had originally anticipated.  Even through all of the changes, I promise to remain loyal to the people who have remained loyal to me.

In addition to my ambition of returning to Pikes Peak, I have continued to work towards the goal of making the step up to the professional racing level for 2012.  I had the opportunity in October to race at Daytona with a World Challenge team.  It was a great experience.  When I was driving at 150 MPH down there, it solidified the fact that there isn’t a doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I am anxious to continue the conversations with manufacturers and race teams that I have started the past few weeks.  It will be exciting to see how things come together, working on the final touches with some sponsorship relationships.  As negotiations are made final, I look forward to sharing all of the information with you.

Fingers crossed that everything will come into place. – Savannah Rickli

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