As I sat in my garage, pen racing across the page to document as much as I could, Crazy Leo Urlichich was relaxing with a bowl of cherries served up by his co-driver. How ‘bout them apples?
To get things started, Leo tells us he plans to compete in all 2011 CRC events, selected regional events in Ontario and Quebec, and maybe a US event. That’s a grand total of nine events in a single year. Tall Pines, Baie-Des-Chaleurs, Perce-Neige – Leo wouldn’t miss these events for the world because, in his words, they’re “just that good. I can’t say enough about them.” What’s the one US event on Leo’s radar in 2011? Rally Tennessee. Looking toward the dim end of the pencil beams, Leo would like to eventually run in Europe, where tarmac experience is critical. Maybe one day he’ll run recce in Finland.
For 2011, Leo’s not concerned too much about final results. “I don’t care about titles so much,” he says. Instead, Leo aims to be on the pace with the top teams at every event he enters. “I don’t want to be winning by a fluke; somebody DNFd or mechanical. That’s not my style.” “To drive fast,” Leo maintains, “You have to try your best. You have to push.” This year, expect to see Leo Urlichich bring the fight to the top teams.
At Rally of the Tall Pines, Crazy Leo Can-Jam Rally Team raised over $800 for Bancroft Sled Dog Races, a charity which promotes physical fitness for kids. In the process, other teams have begun to partner with non-profits to serve their communities. When asked how this relates to rally, Leo said, “By helping the local community, we help rally. Everybody benefits in the end. Really. How hard is it to give someone a ride? It takes five, ten minutes?”
Says Leo, rally volunteers “stand there in rain, snow, sleet, hail, all not only for the chance to get a bit closer to the rally action, but also to make the amazing sport of performance rallying possible.” A shakedown run in the open class Subaru Beast is the least he can do. Imagine if every rally had a shakedown stage and every team were offering rides for a single charity.
And Then Some
Last year, Crazy Leo took the rally cars out to a couple track day, motor/autoshow, and local car club events. At these non-rally get-togethers, Leo was shocked to see how many people were genuinely interested in rally, but have no clue how to get involved in the sport. Imagine the irony of talking to university students – who have designed their own race cars – and discovering they couldn’t even guess how to get started in rally.
So Crazy It Might Work
This year, Leo will be looking into sharing the rally car with students at university. College students tend to be younger, active on Facebook, and not as tied-down. “These are hungry, hungry people [for motorsport], and we’re gonna try and get people involved.” Crazy Leo Can-Jam will be getting involved with university clubs, events, and maybe even classroom presentations. Maybe he’ll bring out a spare car and give a few rides, too, making a perfect opportunity to invite people to come out to the next rally and check it out.
Go Crazy with Crazy Leo
If running a full schedule+ and still finding the time to market rally in the local community is crazy, sign us up. Leo’s blog on CrazyLeo.net is regularly updated with the goings on of a passionate rallyista, looking to make things happen. Check it out. It’s crazy enough, it just might work.