With this year’s World Rally Championship finale, Kennards Hire Rally Australia, kicking off in Coffs Harbour this week, Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Gelsomino are excited to once again be part of the action.
Reeves will be behind the wheel of the Force Motorsport Mazda 2 AP4 that he drove to victory in Rally Coromandel in New Zealand in August. Whilst Reeves is contesting his fourth Rally Australia, the car will make its debut on Australian soil and Reeves is confident it will be well suited to the stages.
This year’s event covers 320 kilometres of rally stages over three days of competition, with 75% of the stages held on forestry roads. Reeves’ past experience will count on some stages but a good portion of this year’s rally will be contested on brand new stages, putting all crews on an even footing.
Reeves is the highest seeded Australian in the event and is looking forward to testing himself against the world’s best rally crews with 18 international team’s competing this week.
Whilst he is not contesting the same class as most of the internationals who will drive World Rally Cars which are of a much higher spec, Reeves is keen to compare his stage times with them and get the best out of himself and the Force Motorsport Mazda.
Reeves and Gelsomino will contest the ASN class and Reeves expects his main competition to come from fellow Victorian Eli Evans in a MINI Cooper AP4, Coffs Harbour local Nathan Quinn, who’ll drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, and Canberra’s Harry Bates in a Toyota Yaris AP4.
Just getting to the event has been a win in itself, however. Reeves had the Mazda2 shipped from New Zealand and it arrived just days before the event is due to get underway this Thursday. After a quick test on his home track, Reeves then made the trek from Victoria to Coffs Harbour.
“We’ve had a lot of great support to get to the event,” Reeves said. “That support has come from family and friends and our wonderful supporters.”
Reeves and Gelsomino are crowd favourites and once again offered their supporters the chance to have their names featured on the car’s bonnet. They were overwhelmed with support and quickly filled the available space on the bonnet and side of the car with supporter’s name.
“We can’t thank our supporters enough,” Reeves added. “It’s great to have so many people behind us and we’ll be doing our best to bring home the car - with our supporters riding with us - in a great position at the end of Rally Australia.”
Rally Australia kicks off on Thursday morning (November 16) with a Shakedown stage followed by the Official Start Ceremony in Coffs Harbour’s main street on Thursday afternoon.
Three days of full-on rally action, covering 21 stages, will then follow before the winners are crowned on Sunday afternoon.
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