Young Aussies ready for WRC classic
Australia’s leading young Australian drivers on the World Rally Championship trail head to the marquee event of the season this weekend in Finland.
For Brendan Reeves and Molly Taylor it will be their second start at what is described as the ‘Finnish Grand Prix’ although each will be competing in different categories.
Reeves will resume his campaign to be crowned the world’s best junior rally driver in the WRC Academy. After two rounds and with two podium finishes, Reeves sits third outright in the one-make series that sees all crews campaign Ford Fiesta R2s prepared by M-Sport, the team that prepare the cars for the Ford World Rally Team.
“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 pacenotes last year,” said Reeves.
“Having some of the pacenotes already from last year is a huge help and gives us a boost of confidence, as we have already driven those stages competitively.”
Taylor will be competing in the two-wheel drive category aboard a turbo-charged Citroen DS3 R3T as part of the United Business entry from Italy. This will be the first gravel outing of 2012 for the Sydney-sider after contesting tarmac events in Belgium and Italy.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to return to the stages of Rally Finland, and I am working with the team to increase my feeling with the car,” said Taylor.
Both crews have taken part in pre-event testing, for Reeves this was possible after a fund-raising campaign which was run through the Brendan Reeves Supporters Club. All the names of those supporters have been placed on the bonnet of the car.
“The test on Sunday was really beneficial,” said Reeves.
“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.
Australasia will be well represented at Rally Finland with Chris Atkinson contesting for the outright victory in a Citroen DS3 WRC, New Zealand’s Hayden Padden one of the leading candidates in the Super 2000 class, plus Reeves and Taylor.
Rally Finland starts in Jyvaskyla on Thursday with crews to face 300 kilometres of competitive driving over 18 stages.
Ride with Molly Taylor during pre-event testing for Rally Finland