Detailed preparation and testing has young Australian rally hopeful Brendan Reeves confident heading into this weekend’s opening event of the World Rally Championship Academy in Portugal.
Reeves and his co-driving sister, Rhianon Smyth, are contesting the six-round one-make series for drivers under the age of 25. The duo have been in Europe for a month taking part in pre-season seminars, fitness training and all important testing of the Ford Fiesta R2 that they will campaign for the second straight year.
Having finished fourth at Rally Portugal last year, Reeves is confident.
“We have done everything possible to prepare ourselves for the opening round,” said Reeves.
“We arrived in Europe early and have put ourselves through a fairly rigorous training regime to be at our peak fitness during the rally. We’re expecting it to be fairly warm, so we need to be at our best physically for the rally.
“On top of that, we also managed to get in some testing. I haven’t driven a Fiesta since the last round of the 2011 Academy in November, so it was good to get back into the car and re-acquaint myself with it.
“Once again, the competition in the Academy will be strong so we’re expecting a tough battle. If we can set some good stage times and make improvements on last year, we’ll be really happy.”
Reeves and Smyth’s R2 is sure to be one of the most recognised cars in the WRC Academy field this year. With a bright Aussie-theme, the car’s livery will really stand out.
Rally Portugal gets underway on Thursday evening (Portugal time) in Faro with a ceremonial start, followed by three night stages. Academy competitors will then contest six stages on Friday, and a further 3 on Saturday, totalling 245 competitive kilometres, before the winner of the opening round is decided.