Crazy Leo Urlichich, the Canadian rally driver who came by his nickname thanks to his wild driving style, has successfully completed his first ever WRC event, in Portugal. Taking part in a driver search program called the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy, saw the fan focused driver trading his signature orange and black Subaru for a front wheel drive Ford Fiesta.
Saying that the competition at an FIA World Rally Championship event is stiff would be stiff is somewhat redundant, but the DMACK Fiesta Trophy itself features some tough competitors including Max Vatanen, son of rally legend Ari Vatanen.
Leo’s event was not without its challenges, as an impact with a bad rut on Friday evening caused a bent suspension arm and ultimately an axle failure on the final transit stage. With a plan to drive clean and learn the car, Urlichich’s event went as hoped and he kept the car on the road throughout the rally, finishing 8th out of 12 in the field and the last car still running. It wasn’t so long ago that a younger Leo might have been one of the cars in the weeds. The rally was won by Estonian driver Sander Pärn.
Crazy Leo’s enthusiasm and personality are what endears him to fans, so it is great to learn that rally organizers presented him with a special Spirit of the Rally Award. In these days where fan interaction and use of social media to promote corporate partners, it is great to see that the DMACK Tyre folks recognize Leo’s talents outside of the car as well.
Watch for Crazy Leo in this DMACK launch video.
There is another sort of Canadian connection as honorary Canuck Craig Parry from Wales, who co-drove with Antoine L’Estage in the 2013 Rally of the Tall Pines, is riding shotgun for Tom Cave. The pair finished second to Pärn despite this roll. With just 20 seconds between first and second spot, this light roll may well have decided the finish order.
Here is the rally highlights from DMACK.