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Reeves fights back in Finland

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 31st July, 2011 - 9:45am

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Brendan Reeves sits equal-second in the WRC Academy standings

Australia’s Brendan Reeves sits equal second in the World Rally Championship Academy standings after a determined drive at the Neste Rally Finland.

Reeves and co-driving sister Rhianon Smyth went into the final day of the event in third place, but a puncture dropped them back to fifth.

Over the final stages Reeves was in a great battle with Jan Cerny of the Czech Republic with the final margin being five-seconds in favour of the Australian.

For the third straight event victory went to Egon Kaur (Estonia) ahead of Ireland’s Craig Breen and Timo van der Marel (Netherlands).

Kaur holds a handy lead in the championship standings on 88 points with Reeves and Breen both on 36 points with three events remaining.

“It was our first time here and the pace notes worked pretty well and we kept improving the times,” said Reeves.

“I was quicker on the shorter more technical stages, which is good because that’s where I had been lacking on the previous two rounds.

“We got a flat on SS12 so we decided to try to stay consistent and bring the car home for some solid points.

“We had a good fight with Jan over the final three stages. We made up a lot of time to claim fourth place so that helps balance out the puncture.

“We are on the same points as Craig, so that puts us in a really good position for the second half of the season.”

Molly Taylor bounced back from an early puncture in Finland

Fellow Australian Molly Taylor started on the backfoot with a puncture on the opening kilometres of the event. This forced her and co-driver Seb Marshall to stop in the stage and change the wheel.

From that point Taylor worked on improving her speed and pacenote system with Marshall, who was making his first WRC Academy start with Taylor.

Taylor kept her head down to claim ninth place in the rally and sits 14th in the standings.

“Through the event we got a lot more confidence in the car and each other,” said Taylor.

“The fast stages were great but we struggled a bit in the slower corners and not getting the times we wanted.

“We took some risks in the fast sections, but we just have to get better!

“There was so much to learn on a rally like this, but we are moving forward. I have some mixed feelings about moving to tarmac in Germany since most of my experience is on gravel, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The next event of the WRC Academy, which has all competitors driving the same Ford Fiesta R2 cars from M-Sport, will be the all-tarmac ADAC Rallye Deutschland on 18 – 21 August.

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