Thrilled enough to have claimed his maiden Round victory of the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship at last weekend’s National Capital Rally, Brendan Reeves said he was even more excited to share the podium with rally legend Ari Vatanen.

“That was really cool!” explained Reeves. “I’m a massive fan of Ari, I grew up watching his movies like Climb Dance, so to be able to stand on the podium with him was a massive honour.”
Brendan Reeves, Rhianon Gelsomino and 1981 World Champion, Ari Vatanen.“I actually met Ari a couple of years ago in Finland when I was competing in the Academy. His son Max is about the same age and he’d just started rallying. I was shocked at the time, Ari knew my background, his son Max had looked me up and that was incredible in itself.”
“It was great for the rally to have him (Vatanen) there, I don’t think people realised how special it was to have him present until he was actually there standing in front of them. He (Vatanen) was incredible generous with his time all weekend, talking to anyone and everyone about any topic, from his first rally to what they did for a day job,” Brendan added.
Reeves, who took a comfortable win during the opening Heat after his rivals faltered before being locked in a titanic battle with Scott Pedder during the second Heat, said to claim his maiden victory was still taking some time to sink in.
“It’s funny actually, I had a call from Simon Evans on Monday after the rally and I told him about how this was my third full season in the ARC, having done 2007 and then last year, with a few one off events in between,” he said.
“Simon responded saying it took him six full seasons to get his first win, so that puts in all into perspective!”
“I also think about the battle with Scott on the Sunday, he’s been to Canberra something like nine times before, and finished second five of those times. I’m still learning a lot of these rallies, so winning feels really good,” Brendan added.
Starting the season in a car that he’d spent a season building up pace in, and with a team that he knew well, Reeves admitted that consistency and the result last weekend has given him a boost of confidence ahead of the next Round in Western Australia.
“I’m definitely feeling better prepared this year, I think everyone in the team is, everything is running like clock work now. I would have loved to have started last year the way we have this year,” Reeves said.
“We’ve got three weeks until the car leaves for WA and already we’ve had a debrief from Canberra and worked out a really good plan. Carrying on the form from Canberra is the key.”

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