Posts Tagged ‘brendan reeves’
Australian rally driver, Brendan Reeves, has been given the chance to test drive a Ford Fiesta World Rally Car in the UK this month. Reeves, who finished fourth overall in this year’s FIA WRC Academy, has been rewarded for his excellent 2012 performances with an invitation to attend the exclusive test day. Reeves will have the opportunity to test drive a World Rally Car during a one hour test session in the UK. The 24 year old is rapt to have been offered the test drive and whilst it means a trip to the UK at his expense, he is grabbing it with both hands. “I’m stoked to be given this chance to drive a Fiesta World Rally Car,” Reeves said. “It is a nice reward for our efforts this year and driving the World Rally Car will give me a real taste of the next level of the sport. “I had the chance to sit beside Ken Block in his Fiesta World Rally Car just prior to Rally Finland this year and it was a great experience. To now have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a similar car myself is fantastic. “Testing the World Rally Car is a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully it leads to more similar opportunities in the future. “We haven’t confirmed our program for 2013 just yet. We learnt so much in 2012 and competing in the Academy again has been really important for our careers and we’d love to be able to continue competing in the World Rally Championship again in 2013. “I’d really like to thank M-Sport for the amazing efforts they put into the WRC Academy this year and also for giving me the chance to take part in the test drive.”
Australia’s brother-sister rally team, Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth, have added valuable Championship points to their World Rally Championship (WRC) Academy title chase after finishing fifth at the challenging Rally Deutschland (Germany) at the weekend. With two rounds still to run, the pair are sitting second overall in the Championship point score. After a solid preparation heading into the event, Reeves and Smyth were confident of a good showing, having taken advantage of a couple of tarmac testing opportunities prior to the rally. The stages used on the event are nothing like the pair normally experience – extremely different from the rally stages of Australia – with tight, twisty roads through vineyards and a huge 46 kilometre stage (“Arena Planzerplatte”) through the Baumholder military training area. The military base is renowned for the huge concrete boulders (known as hinklesteins) that line the course and these can create havoc if they come into contact with a rally car travelling at speed. Not only are the roads tight and twisty, the Panzerplatte stage has 118 junctions in its 46 kilometres, meaning that the driver and co-driver must write a particularly descriptive set of pace-notes to guide them through the stage unscathed. Reeves and Smyth’s event didn’t get off to the start they were hoping for when an overshoot on the first stage of the rally cost them around 25 seconds. They then landed hard, bending the rear suspension beam, but made it to the end of the stage in fifth place. As day one continued, the pair increased their speed and started to gain more confidence on the tricky roads and as other crews struck trouble, Reeves pounced and finished the opening day in third place. Day two consisted of six stages – three stages each run twice – including the Panzerplatte stage. The day started well with Reeves reducing the gap to second place and with a comfortable lead over fourth, and a stage win. Going into the final stage of the day (Panzerplatte), Reeves was heading for his fourth podium finish from four events but it wasn’t to be. Approaching a sharp left hand corner a little too fast, he went off the road in his efforts to avoid a ‘hinklestein’ and into some shrubs. The pairs Ford Fiesta R2 was stuck firm and it took some spectators to help get the car back on the road, albeit after 15 minutes. Back on the pace, the Fiesta then suffered a puncture just 4.5 kilometres from the stage finish. Reeves continued on, but the puncture had caused damage to the front guard and he was forced to limp his way to the finish. To still finish the rally in fifth place was a remarkable effort. With 10 points earned for his fifth place finish and one bonus point for the stage win, Reeves maintains his second place in the WRC Academy with two events to go. Reeves was happy with his weekend after a steep learning curve. Getting used to the faster WRC tyres used on gravel, and reading the corners better, were just two of the positives he took out of the rally. The WRC competitors who drive the stage ahead of the Academy cars tend to cut the corners, dragging a lot of loose gravel onto the roads, and driving to suit the slippery surface whilst negotiating the many corners and junctions takes some getting used to. After recording numerous second-fastest stage times, the young Australian was delighted to take a stage win and earn an important bonus point to add to his Championship tally. The next event on the WRC Academy calendar is Rally France, another tarmac event, which will be held from October 4 to 6. Reeves will remain in Europe this week for the FIA Young Driver Excellence Academy workshop, a program for which he was selected at the end of 2011. WRC RALLYE DEUTSCHLAND RESULTS 1. Elfyn Evans 2. Jose Suarez 3. John Macrone 4. Timo Van Der Marel 5. Brendan Reeves FIA WRC ACADEMY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4, RALLYE DEUTSCHLAND 1. Elfyn Evans, GBR, 98 points 2. Brendan Reeves, AUS, 63 points 3. Alistair Fisher, GBR, 53 points 4. Jose Suarez, ESP, 52 points 5. Pontus Tidemand, SWE, 49 points
The Australian rally team of Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth have continued their solid performance in the World Rally Championship (WRC) Academy at the weekend. Competing in round three of the six round series, Rally Finland, the duo staved off a final day challenge to finish third – their third podium finish from three events. The strong result moves them to second outright in the Championship at the half way point. Reeves and Smyth returned to Finland after contesting the event in their inaugural WRC Academy season last year and their experience from that event, and a beneficial pre-rally test session, gave them plenty of confidence going into the iconic rally, often referred to as ‘the Grand Prix of gravel’. Despite a conservative start, Reeves finished Day 1′s three stages in third place. Day 2 of Rally Finland consisted of eight stages, four stages each run twice. Reeves suffered a few handling issues in his Ford Fiesta R2 during the first loop of stages, dropping him back to fourth, so some set up changes were the order of the day at the lunch time service. Keen to improve his stage times from the morning’s run, he set out on a mission and was rewarded with two stage wins to finish the day, taking him back into third place overall. The final day of Rally Finland is regarded as one of the most demanding in world rallying. The high speed roads and crests of the Ouninpohja stage are infamous and Reeves had a real battle on his hands. Over the last three stages of the rally, the battle for the final podium place changed three times with three drivers separated by just 1.8 seconds. With one stage to run, Reeves held a narrow 3.4 second lead over Dutchman Timo Van Der Marel, but the young Australian managed to hold his nerve and grab the podium. Van Der Marel went off the road in the last stage, halting his quest for third place. After finishing second at Rally Portugal and third at Greece’s Acropolis Rally, third at Finland moves Reeves up to second in the overall Championship standings. With two additional points for each of his stage wins in Finland, he now sits just 18 points behind series leader, and Rally Finland winner, Elfyn Evans from Wales. “We are very happy to be on the podium at the finish. It has been a great battle right from the start, so it was a real shame that Timo [Van der Marel] went out like that, but we managed to keep Jose [Suarez] at bay and kept pushing on. “Our outright time was really good in the last stage [SS17], which was a great way to finish. We have consistently improved over the course of the event and have gained some great experience. We will go away very happy and confident ahead of the change to Tarmac in Germany.” Reeves and Smyth will remain in Europe to start their preparations for the next round of the WRC Academy, Rally Germany. Both Rally Germany and the following round, Rally France, are tarmac events, and Reeves is hoping his experience in Australia’s famous tarmac rally, Targa Tasmania, will hold him in good stead for these events. The final round of the Championship will be a mixed surface rally in Spain in November. Rally Finland WRC Academy results 1. Elfyn Evans, GBR, 2. Pontus Tidemand, SWE 3. Brendan Reeves, AUS WRC Academy standings after Round 3 Rally Finland 1. Elfyn Evans, GBR, 70 points 2. Brendan Reeves, AUS, 52 points 3. Alistair Fisher, GBR, 49 points
Australian brother and sister rally duo, Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth, will resume their campaign to be crowned the world’s best junior rally team when they tackle Rally Finland this weekend. The pair are competing in the World Rally Championship (WRC) Academy for the second year, and after two rounds in 2012, and with two podium finishes, are sitting in third outright in the championship. The WRC Academy consists of six events in Europe run on both gravel and tarmac surfaces, with all competitors driving Ford Fiesta R2s prepared by M-Sport, the team that prepare the cars for the Ford World Rally Team. The third round, Rally Finland, a super-fast gravel event with lots of high speed crests, is often referred to as the Finnish Grand Prix. Having competed at Finland last year, Reeves is excited at the prospect of driving the iconic Finnish roads again and is taking the lessons learnt from last year, and a beneficial test session, into the event, where he aims to again finish on the podium. “Learning how to set the car up for the big crests and picking the right driving line was something I worked on a lot with our pace notes last year,” Reeves said. “Having some of the pace notes already from last year is a huge help and gives us a boost of confidence, as we have already driven those stages competitively.” Reeves and Smyth’s Academy commitments started on Monday, the first of two and a half days of reconnaissance where they drive the rally route in a road car and write the pace notes that will guide them around the course when they are driving at competition speed. They will then have a short test in their WRC Academy car, a Ford Fiesta R2. The Aussie pair have already taken the opportunity for further testing, though. Through a fund-raising campaign which was run through the Brendan Reeves Supporters Club, enough funds were secured to lease a car similar to their competition vehicle and organise a test session with the head instructor from Tommi Makinen’s rally driving school in Finland. “The test on Sunday was really beneficial,” Reeves commented. “We used a 2km piece of road in both directions. We found a lot of improvement in the driving for the fast stages and were very happy with what we learnt on the day. “Trying to keep the car as straight as possible and benefit from as much grip as you can get adds to extra speed out of the corners, so this is just one thing that will help us in the event. “We’ve also prepared a bit differently for the rally this year. The test we did on Sunday was a big help as last year we only did a short test the day prior to the event in our Academy car. “We have also planned our days prior to the rally much better. Last year, the days before the event were so full-on with reconnaissance, Academy and media commitments that we didn’t have a spare minute, so this year we arrived in Finland earlier so that our schedule wasn’t quite so hectic.” Rally Finland starts in Jyvaskyla, about three hours north of Helsinki, on Thursday afternoon. The event is comprised of 300 kilometres of competitive driving over 18 stages. Academy competitors will complete all but the final (Power) stage of the rally, before the winner is crowned on Saturday evening. Reeves and Smyth, the only all-Australian crew in the World Rally Championship, are aiming to take the ‘gold’.
Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth have finished the second round of the World Rally Championship Academy in a stunning third. The Acropolis Rally is tough on any rally car and it crew but Reeves pushed on to make it two podiums from two events in this year’s Championship. Starting the second day in fourth place, Reeves again took a steady approach knowing that Saturday’s stages would be extremely rough and rocky. When Pontus Tidemand was forced to retire with a broken driveshaft, the Australian brother and sister moved up to third place. The remaining stages of the day weren’t without drama, though. A broken rear arm was a cause for concern and they nursed the car home for a well-deserved podium finish. After taking second at Rally Portugal and third in Greece, Reeves sits in third place in the WRC Academy Championship standings. The next WRC Academy event on the calendar is Rally Finland, and with the experience gained from last year’s event, Reeves is confident of another top three finish.