Duplessis, from America, received the award for the manner in which he embraced the local community, including pupils at the Elementary School of Athikia, during the pre-event test for the Acropolis Rally.
“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!’” said Duplessis, who responded by giving a ‘drive-by high-five’ to the school children. “One little girl had even drawn a picture of my DirtFish orange Fiesta.”
Duplessis (centre) is one of the most popular members of the WRC Academy fraternity and admits he cannot wait to make his debut on the high-speed Finnish stages.
“I am so excited for Finland now - it is the rally I loved watching growing up,” he said. “The fans are crazy and there are loads of big jumps and flat-out roads - that is rallying at its best.”
Duplessis continued: “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.”
Neste Oil Rally Finland takes place from 2-4 August.