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Mazda2 driver, Brendan Reeves, has started the final round of the ECB Australian Rally Championship (ARC) in fine form, finishing heat one of the event just 3.2 seconds behind rally leader, Eli Evans (Honda Jazz).

Rally Victoria started today (Friday) in Warragul, west of Melbourne, in wet and muddy conditions after heavy rain during the week. Reeves adapted quickly to the conditions, winning the opening stage of the event by 6.6 seconds and backing it up with a 2.8 second win on the second stage. At the half way point of the day, he held a 9.4 second lead overall.

After the mid-day service break, Evans stepped up the pace and after re-runs of the first two stages, and 55 competitive kilometres, he took the Leg 1 win by just 3.2 seconds. Finishing the day in third place was Tom Wilde (Renault Clio R3), over a minute behind Reeves.

"The car was perfect this morning in the wet on the first two stages," Reeves said. "Glenn (Macneall) and I worked really well in the car together and we were driving comfortably.

"In the afternoon we used the same four tyres and we weren't able to get a nice balance in the rear where they were worn. We lost some time but know what we can do tomorrow to improve our pace."

Heat 2 of Rally Victoria (on Saturday) will see drivers battling it out over another six forestry stages before the final Super Special Stage at Warragul's Lardner Park. Three of the forestry stages are over 20 kilometres in length, and with endurance as one of his strengths, Reeves is quietly confident of taking day two honours.

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