Aussie brother and sister rally duo, Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth, have finished a fine fourth in class in Rally Finland, round 8 of the World Rally Championship, at the weekend.
Rally Finland is the mecca of world rallying, and with an entry list of over 100 cars, including all of the world’s best drivers, the action was fast and furious from the outset.
Reeves’ main challenge came from Irishman Craig Breen and Estonian Egon Kaur. Both drivers had competed at Rally Finland previously, and with Reeves entering for the first time, he knew it was going to be a battle to take a victory. Kaur and Breen were just two of 15 other competitors battling out the WRC Academy, a six-round one-make series to find the world’s best driver under 24 years of age. All crews compete in identical Ford Fiesta R2s prepared by British-based MSport.
Rally Finland commenced with three stages on Thursday evening and Reeves sat in second place at the overnight halt. Friday was a long and demanding day with crews completing eight forest stages, with Reeves settling into a good rhythm to finish the day in third overall.
The final day of the event included a further six stages, but the day got off to a bad start for Reeves when a puncture on the first stage cost him over three minutes. This dropped him back to fifth overall, but over the remaining five stages the tenacious Australian fought his way back, clawing more than 45 seconds off his nearest rival, to finish the event in fourth place.
“It was really frustrating to get a puncture on the final day,” Reeves said. “We had found a really good rhythm with the car and were starting to learn more and more about the Finnish roads and how to attack them.
“To then lose over three minutes meant it was going to be an uphill battle, but we were able to make up quite a bit of time and move back up to fourth for the rally.”
Reeves’ points haul from Finland (12 points), now places him equal second in the overall Championship standings at the half way point of the six-round series, a good reward for his consistent driving in the first three rounds.
The next event for the Australian duo is the Les Boucles Chevrotines in Belgium next weekend. The pair will drive a similar Fiesta R2 in the event and will use it as a practise for the next round of the WRC Academy, Rally Germany, the following weekend.
PHOTOS: Marcel Stawiczny
For further information, contact Peter Whitten on 0409 236 469