The woman who keeps ARA’s show on the road

ARA business manager Marni Nagy has spent a lifetime in motorsport and plays key role in America's top rally series


You know Brandon Semenuk won last month’s 100 Acre Wood Rally. You know Micah Nickelson’s Golf was unbeaten in Open Two-Wheel Drive on the same event. How do you know? Because Marni Nagy told you.

OK, she didn’t actually tell you. But Marni oversees the systems to broadcast the news you wanted. Nagy is the ARA’s business manager, but it’s actually impossible – not to mention unfair – to pigeonhole her. She’s one of the key players in America’s premier rally series. She makes things happen.

Having spent a lifetime in the sport thanks to a father working in the automobile industry, Nagy’s CV is impressive. She’s also a master of understatement.

Graduating in mechanical engineering, Nagy was set on the road to follow in her father’s footsteps.

Marni Headshot

Marni's love of rallying extends to all motorsport - but she's still waiting to go to Rally Finland

She worked for small volume manufacturer Saleen during its heyday, when it was winning championships and working through the development of the S7, starting at the firm selling their merchandise. How did that work out?

“I ended up as team manager – I was the second woman to manage a team at Le Mans…”

A native Southern Californian, Marni loves all motorsport – but it’s rallying which really caught her attention.

“David Richards invited me to Finland for the rally,” she offered, mid-way through her explanation of her career path. There’s understatement and there’s the man who guided Subaru to six world titles inviting you to planet earth’s most iconic event…

We need to know more about that.

“My Dad was in talks with Prodrive about a new venture,” she said. “While the discussions were going on, Rally Finland was coming up and David asked if we would like to join him. I was busy at the time and I kind of thought: “Well, if the deal comes together, there will be plenty of time to go to Rally Finland. Sadly, the deal didn’t come off and I’m still waiting to go!”


Marni kept track of Barry McKenna's streak of fastest times on the 100 Acre Wood

Today, Nagy is busy with ARA. Business manager is a fairly wide-ranging remit, which includes everything from series logistics to inputting stage times. That’s where DirtFish catches up with Marni – in the scoring room in Missouri.

The numbers are great, but she’s well aware of the world going on outside.

“I’m always pretty keen to get out and about and put faces to the numbers we’re putting in,” she said. “And I’m not one to just keep adding the numbers in, I love to really understand and add context to the times. This morning, for example, to see Barry [McKenna] was winning so many stages was incredible.

“It’s easy to get buried in the numbers, but then when you have those stage times absolutely up to the minute and you see the last car come in to the finish and we can go straight to the podium with no problems, that’s a real buzz. That’s our win.”

And Nagy’s presence in the ARA is a big win for the series itself.

Words:David Evans