|Upon his return from the WRC it was straight to Wellsboro, PA. for round 4 of the Rally America Championship, STPR, Chris [Right]also made up for lost time with his beloved dog Louise [AKA Weezy] Photo: Neil McDaid|
As the FIA WRC Academy crews completed a pre-event test for the Acropolis Rally in Arthikia, Greece last month, Chris Duplessis’ winning personality saw him awarded the event’s Spirit of the FIA WRC Academy award.
With the test stage running alongside the Elementary School of Athikia, the school children had spent the morning drawing the colourful cars – with Duplessis’ bright orange Dirt Fish Ford Fiesta R2 proving a popular choice.Driving alongside the school on his final run, the American slowed down to give the youngsters a ‘drive-by high-five’ – much to the delight of the excited school children.
Working at a rally school in his native America, Duplessis is well known for his charisma and compassion which makes him one of the most popular personalities in the feeder series; and his thoughtful actions on the Acropolis Rally only reinforce his status as a true ambassador for the sport.
Supported by Ford Racing in Europe and with control tyres from Pirelli, the WRC Academy crews will next tackle the challenging tracks of Neste Oil Rally Finland in August where Duplessis will be keen to build on his sixth place finish at the Acropolis Rally.
Having set the third fastest time over the penultimate stage in Greece, Duplessis – who is supported by Ford Racing US – is growing in confidence and will be keen to impress as he embarks on the event he has been looking forward to all year.
Chris Duplessis said:
“I love kids and to see them so excited to have the rally car driving by their school was awesome – they where yelling "rally, rally rally!’ One little girl had even drawn a picture of my DirtFish orange Fiesta. I really loved Greece – the food was great, the landscape was beautiful and the people were the nicest I have ever met.
“I am so excited for Finland now – it is the rally I loved watching growing up. The fans are crazy and there are loads of big jumps and flat-out roads – that is rallying at its best! We had a top three stage time in Greece and I would love to have more of that in Finland. I am still getting used to the car and finding my speed, but hopefully Finland will be my coming out party!”