March 2014 archive

Gazelle Rally Final Rankings

The Gazelle Rally (otherwise known as the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc) has finished for 2014, with the 4×4 winning team being team 161, Jeanette James (Britain) and Anne Marie Borg (France), taking the flag with a final penalty of 59.24.They drove the Volkswagen Amarok.

The Winning 4x4 Team 161, Jeanette James & Ane Marie Borg

The Winning 4×4 Team 161, Jeanette James (r) & Anne Marie Borg (l)

The Motorbike / Quad Bike category is another important one to watch, with French Team 27 comprising Betty Kraft and Sarah Maire taking out the honours on a pair of Polaris Scrambler 850s.

The Final Category is the Crossover Category, which has everything from vans to compact 4x4s participating and this year, German Team 320 comprising Astrid Ebermann and Sabrina Trillman, took out the honours in a Mercedes Sprinter Van!

Congratulations to all of the Gazelles for another fabulous race.

For a full ranking list of all participant teams, click here to the official site. Go Gazelles!


On the topic of lipstick and gearsticks ;)

On the topic of lipstick and gearsticks ;)

The Gazelle Rally 2014

The Gazelles are well and truly out of the blocks in Morocco at the Gazelle Rally, tearing up the sand and dodging camels.

Officially known as the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles, the Gazelle Rally has competitors ploughing through the sands of Morocco. This incredibly tough cross-country rally is open only to women & the competitors are known as Gazelles.

Muppets can shelve the rather pathetic “women can’t read maps” argument right now, because the very determined Gazelles spend these eight days in the Moroccan desert with no GPS in their vehicles. All navigation is done with a compass and map (the map is in French just in case it was sounding like a trip out to get a sammich). They receive a daily (very succinct) Road Book with the day’s course and have a series of checkpoints to hit.

The point of winning isn’t being the fastest, but actually going the shortest distance; the Gazelles get the best results by being smart and navigating brilliantly. The winning Gazelles team is the team with the least number of kilometres clocked.

Taking off at dawn each day, each daily course takes around 8-10 hours on average. Oh, and did I mention that the entire race is off-road? Just checking.

And what does the US Indiana Joans team (team 183 this year) have to say about the rally?

With determination as the only selection criterion, whatever their age, social background, nationality or experience, the participants in this rally come to experience a competition that respects the local populations and the environment.

This brilliant rally is in its 24th year and was founded by Dominique Serra with the following principles in mind:

Commitment, audacity, determination, courage, generosity and solidarity.  The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles resonates with thousands of stories; it makes women more beautiful, and brings their true potential to light. More than 21 years later, the gamble has paid off.

Another great aspect of the Gazelle Rally is the Coeur des Gazelles (Heart of Gazelles).  25% of the rally fees go to the non-profit arm of the rally that provides medical and educational services to people in the most remote parts of Morocco.

It’s brilliant, brilliant stuff. Go Gazelles!

This year there are three competing categories covering quad bike / motorbike teams, 4WD / truck teams and crossover teams. Crossovers are your standard smaller SUVs, with vehicles like the Renault Duster competing.

If you’re an Instagram fan like us, go check out #gazellerally and @usagazelles and @mmmotorsports for epic selfies, action shots and behind the scenes pics. For live coverage of the Gazelles in action, head here.

Go Gazelles!!!

OPI Nails and Mustang are Racing Red

I would like a custom nail polish by OPI for my birthday too
I would like a custom nail polish by OPI for my birthday too

I would like a custom nail polish by OPI for my birthday too

This is the sort of collaboration we love to see! OPI and Ford Australia have gotten together for the Mustang’s 50th Anniversary this year with the Limited Edition polish colour Race Red, which is out in July. I shall wear it all that month.

Thirsty work

Diane Kruger with her Mercedes F-Cell

Actors Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson recently purchased the eco-friendly Mercedes Benz B-Class F-Cell – which has pure water as its only emission – and promptly put it to the test by taking it camping for two days in California’s Death Valley. The twist is that they took no water supplies, and relied on water created from the emissions of their F-Cell to survive.

Diane Kruger with her Mercedes F-Cell

Diane Kruger with her Mercedes F-Cell

Mercedes F-Cell Diane Kruger Joshua Jackson

Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson take the F-Cell to the desert


“We’ve become absolute fans of the fuel cell,” Diane said of the trip, documented in the short video below.  The good news was the trek was a success and they didn’t run out of water.  “The car usage is so easy. On a day-to-day basis our normal mobility isn’t restricted at all – and we had no water problems in Death Valley either.”




The BMW 523i and her obsessed owner

Lipstick and Gearsticks Hikuia Ranges

I want to introduce you to my good mate and guest blogger, Bella from Squee. I asked her to write for Lipstick and Gearsticks because she’s obsessed with her BMW 523i. When she goes back to New Zealand, she usually doesn’t book a return ticket, because she’s disappeared into the ether in her car, roaring around the north island and generally going missing. Her car is her down time and her obsession. She loves how it drives. She loves how it sounds. She loves the freedom. She loves having a beautifully maintained, fine-tuned beast to roar around in. So readers, meet Bella.

BMW 523i

Some drop kick backed into me on Ponsonby Road – parked at the beach house

“From the first moment I test drove this car I fell in love. My BMW is like an expensive mistress. She looks the part though – smooth, sleek and expensive.

Expensive – in many ways yes, but the driving experience makes it all worth while. So when I go back to my country of origin, this is what I drive.

The 523i has elegant styling and looks great from any angle.  Inside, the grey leather seats are more like armchairs, with far above average comfort.  Being able to activate the sun shade on the back window from the drivers seat has come in handy many time for the comfort of back seat passengers. Road noise is little to none, although there is a weird acoustic effect if either of the back windows are down … the interior is roomy and comfortable. For part of this trip I drove with three adults, including their luggage (upwards of 80 kilos) and noticed little to no inconvenience.  I had many compliments on how easy the long trips were for for the passengers involved, and how rested they felt.  Not something that can be said about every car!

Lipstick and Gearsticks Hikuia Ranges

Hikuia Ranges at sunset

For the audiophile, a factory standard radio/stereo comes complete with a six-cd stacker in the boot, and ten speakers in the interior. You read that correctly. Ten speakers.

There are a total of five computers on board, but the one I’m most interested in is on the indicator stick. This updates me on fuel consumption, cruising range, etc.

Volume can be adjusted on the steering wheel (additional to cruise control etc) and illuminated vanity mirrors are provided for both front seats. The external wing mirrors are electric, with auto reverse. Double interior lighting completes the picture, along with lightly tinted windows.

The boot is incredibly roomy, with BMW accredited tools kept safely in a tray that drops down from the inside of the boot when it is lifted. No amount of travel or shopping bags can defeat this space. Believe me, I’ve tried!

The six airbags give peace of mind, especially as it is very easy to put your foot down in this car. Handling is smooth as silk, and the 523i sticks to the road as if on rails.

Pickup is a bit slow (especially when loaded to this degree) but the 523i performs like a star on the open road. Fillup is a bit of a smack to the wallet as the 523i boasts a 70l tank, making pricing approximately $157:00 each time. However with 11.0L/100k’s, I wasn’t too unhappy – the payoff in power available and long distance comfort was fair enough.

Points to remember if you’re thinking of taking on a 5-Series BMW:

These cars absolutely must be maintained on schedule. You will see green lights that activate on the dashboard on ignition; lessening in number as you get closer to the preferred time of service. A service costs around $500:00 a time in New Zealand. I use an accredited BMW dealer.
In the first year or so after purchase, I replaced the suspension all round, and the transmission. The suspension could have waited (but I am picky) and the transmission (5 speed Steptronic) unfortunately spat tacks at me and had to be done urgently. I will not tell you how much this cost me.

But it was worth it.