Christopher Duplessis, 2007 Group 2 National Champion, will make his open class debut this weekend at the Olympus Rally located in Pomeroy, WA.
21-year-old Christopher, one of the youngest competitors in the Rally America national championship series has long been a force in his two-wheel-drive VW Golf. The decision to move him into an open class VW R32 came last month after talking with Brian Scott, owner of the Team NatuRally and builder of the R32 rally car.
Open class has traditionally been dominated by Subaru, but Martin Headland, Christopher’s co-driver says, “We need to move to the next level to get into a car that is quick and has more power. This is all a part of Christopher’s development program.” Christopher stated that, “They really have put together a great deal for me to get some experience in a class that I hope to compete at more in the future.”
Team NatuRally is based out of Casper, WY and they have a unique outlook on what a race team should be. They do not just run and own an out of the ordinary car. Aside from covering many of the out of pocket expenses without the help of a major sponsor, this team actually gives back. “It’s not just about rally racing to us at NatuRally,” says Brian. “The reality is we have been afforded many opportunities in this life that allows to do fun things like run a rally team. Unfortunately, not everyone is that lucky and that’s were the Chande Project comes in.”
The Chande Project is an indigenously developed orphanage in Kitwe, Zambia. The orphanage serves as a school for 500 children, 300 of which are orphans. Mainly these kids have been orphaned by the AIDS/HIV pandemic in Africa. So far through event fundraising the team has been able to give its first scholarship to a Zambian boy interested in attending medical school. “He wants to be a doctor and to start a clinic at the Chande Orphanage. Now there’s a real chance that this can actually happen,” says Brian.
At the Olympus Rally the team will be “raising awareness and hopefully raising the scholarship funds to send two or three teen orphans to Kitwe College making AIDS/poverty-torn Africa a better place, one person at a time. You don’t have to be a celebrity to make a difference. We are just racers we’d like to be more,” says Brian.
For more information on the team and the Olympus rally check out: www.teamnaturally.com; www.teamoneil.com; www.raly-america.com

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