Australian World Rally Championship hopeful Brendan Reeves has unveiled the livery of his Ford Fiesta R2 in which he’ll contest the 2012 World Rally Championship Academy.
Reeves, and co-driving sister, Rhianon Smyth, will tackle the six-round series in Europe after an impressive debut season in 2011, where they finished fifth outright.
After a massive effort to secure an entry to contest the WRC Academy, Reeves will begin in campaign at the category’s season-opener, Rally Portugal at the end of this month.
With the experience gained last year, Reeves believes he has a great opportunity to win the Academy in 2012.
“We’ve worked so hard for this and put everything on the line,” said Reeves.
“Last year was just a taste of what we have to show and this year we are very excited about competing again and will be back bigger and better than ever.”
As the winner of a fully-funded drive in the 2011 WRC Academy, Reeves’ car was identical to that of the other five Pirelli Star Drivers. However, this year having secured his own budget, he was free to design his own livery and has unveiled a design aimed to stand out.
“We put our ideas to Matt Andrew at Panda Design and we are stoked with what he has come up with,” said Reeves.
“We wanted something that identified us as Australians, as well as highlighting the wonderful support we’ve had from our sponsors and the Brendan Reeves Supporters Club. I’m sure our car will really stand out amongst the other Academy Fiesta R2s.”
As part of the WRC Academy preparations Reeves and Smyth have been taking part in pre-season training at the home of series promoters M-Sport in the UK. M-Sport is also charged with running Ford’s official factory team in the WRC. In a series of technical and administrative seminars, competitors were given a comprehensive introduction to top-level rallying from a group of key industry professionals.
“I had a really encouraging couple of days ay M-Sport and now feel ready to plan and prepare for Portugal. It is good to see that the [WRC] Academy is on track to run very well this year.”
The 2012 WRC Academy calendar consists of Rally Portugal (March 29-31), Acropolis Rally, Greece (May 25-27), Rally Finland (August 2-4), Rally Deutschland (August 24-26), Rally de France (October 4-6) and Rally Spain (November 8-10). The first three rallies are gravel events, followed by the tricky tarmac of Germany and France. The final round in Spain is a mixed-surface event.
Check out the video from the WRC Academy Training sessions