Brendan Reeves aims to impress on German tarmac
Australia’s Brendan Reeves has used two weeks of solid preparation in Europe as a key to chasing success at this weekend’s all-tarmac Rally Deutschland.
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.
Currently sitting in second place in the World Rally Championship (WRC) Academy series, Reeves is hopeful he can make the most of the change to sealed surfaces.
“It’s been good to stay over in Europe and get a few rallies done in one hit,” said Reeves.
“The start of the season was drawn out but now it’s really moving along.
“This is our first Tarmac rally in the Academy this year so the car has taken on a few changes to make it suit the surface. We will do a shakedown in the car later today and by then it should really start to come together.”
All WRC Academy crews recently completed a driver training program in Belgium headed by renowned coach Rob Wilson. Plus Reeves held their own private test session in Germany in a leased Ford Fiesta R2, similar to the one they will drive in the rally. The private test session was funded by supporters who paid to have their name included on the bonnet of the rally car for this event.
“The test in Germany was in an R2 on a local vineyard road with many hairpins and narrow changing surfaces,” said Reeves.
“This was to get my driving style changed from the gravel and work on a good tarmac setup so that I can go into the event with confidence and ready to attack the stages. It was also a chance to practice our pace notes before the recce and make changes to them.
Reeves competed in Rally Germany last year in his inaugural year in the WRC Academy and the event proved a challenging one for him. The route takes drivers through tight, twisty vineyard roads and through the Baumholder military base where huge concrete boulders (known as hinklesteins) can create havoc if you overshoot a corner, but his approach to the rally won’t really change this year.
Germany (and much of northern Europe) has been experiencing hot late summer conditions so being in peak physical condition will be important. Reeves and Smyth spent time in between Rally Finland and Rally Germany training hard in the UK and their fitness could be an important factor in the overall results.
Reeves said, “It’s been so hot here this week – we have even seen 40 degrees – so if that keeps up, fitness will certainly be important with the longest stage being 46 kilometres long. There is a high chance of thunderstorms also, as we experienced in our event recce, but the temperatures are supposed to drop to mid 20′s on the weekend.”
Reeves has also taken the opportunity to get in the ear of fellow Australian Chris Atkinson who will be contesting for an outright victory in a Mini World Rally Car. Plus the WRC Academy crews were addressed by eight-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb.