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HILLMAN, Mich. – One year ago as the lone Fiesta entered in Rally America, Dillon Van Way posted Fiesta’s first North American 2WD rally class win at Sno*Drift. This year four Fiesta were entered in the 2WD class and 2010 2WD champion Chris Duplessis and his R2 Fiesta dominated the 2WD field winning by 5 minutes and 36 seconds over veteran rally driver Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard in a Scion. Van Way, the 2009 2WD champ, was third in class just 21 seconds behind ACP and closing as the rally ended.
Duplessis, who finished eleventh overall, was strong from the start winning the first stage by 32 seconds and systematically building on his lead by posting the fastest 2WD time in the first nine stages. Van Way was quickest in three stages and overall Fiesta won 21 of 23 states including nine stages by ten-seconds or more.
“It was a long event but it was good to be in a Fiesta,” said Duplessis who posted his second Rally American national event win in his R2 Fiesta in just three events. “We really didn’t have any issues, a few spins here and there, but nobody in the rally was spared from having a spin and the car was amazing. The Fiesta and I work well together. I like to think of myself as a pretty quick and competitive driver and with the R2 Fiesta it is right where I need to be. Hopefully we can get it on the overall podium (top-three overall), I think that is definitely within reach but it is our expectation to be on the 2WD podium all season.”
“It was an epic race, for sure,” said Van Way after posting his second straight Fiesta podium finish at Sno*Drift and his fourth straight Sno*Drift podium in his Rally America career. “I am obviously not super happy with third place, but considering the conditions, to be able to race with “ACP” in the snow and finish on the podium, it’s a great start to the season. I am definitely looking forward to 100 Acre Woods because our turbo powered Fiesta will have an advantage. Our plan all along was to come here and get the most points possible for the championships. A year ago we came here with a bone stock Fiesta now there are four Fiesta in the event and more on the way. We have done a good job and it has been nice to be the first to win in 2WD in a Fiesta and the first to campaign a 2WD Fiesta.”
“Starting off the season winning Sno*Drift for the second consecutive year is special. It’s very rewarding to see the success that Chris and Dillon are having with the Fiesta. They are going to have some great battles in 2WD this year and we’re proud to have them both racing a Ford,” said Scott Denby, Ford Racing’s North American Rally Program Manager.
“In addition to the early success, having four Fiestas competing here this year and knowing more are being prepped by competitors for debut later this season is something we’re really proud of as well,” said Denby.
Rally America returns to action February 24-25 in Salem, MO for the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood.