Reeves secures 5th in WRC Academy
- 14th November 2011, 9:17am
Australia's top international rally team, Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth, have had a disappointing end to the 2011 WRC Academy season after a broken driveshaft resulted in their retirement from the final round, Wales Rally GB, on day 2.
Under SupeRally rules, the pair were able to re-join the rally on day 3, taking a 5 minute penalty as a result of their non-completion of day 2, and they finished the event 15th overall in the Academy.
The rally, which was also the final round of the 2011 World Rally Championship, got off to a great start for Reeves when he set the fastest time on the opening stage of the Welsh event. The first two stages of the rally were held on Thursday night and Reeves came out firing on the tricky tarmac stage.
The day's third stage was on gravel, and with slippery, muddy conditions, Reeves's Ford Fiesta R2 slid wide on a corner and the Aussie pair were stuck in a ditch at the side of the road for about a minute. This put them back down the field but they were confident of a good showing on day 2.
"The opening two tarmac stages were really greasy," Reeves said, "but stage 3 was very, very wet with lots of fog in spots and the roads were extremely slippery."
As it did in the previous round, a mechanical issue was the cause of Reeves' demise on the event. On the very first stage of the day, the Fiesta's driveshaft broke, meaning Reeves and Smyth were unable to continue.
Despite being hugely disappointed with another forced withdrawal, Reeves remained positive, vowing to go into Saturday's stages and "try hard and see what happens".
He did just that and despite atrocious road conditions (he was the second last car on the road), he set consistent stage times and nursed the car home in 15th place.
After a great start to the WRC Academy series, Reeves finished in a brilliant fifth place in the WRC Academy Cup, despite being dogged by mechanical issues in the second half of the season.
Reeves has little time to unwind after an eventful rally season as he heads to Austria on Monday to take part in the FIA Young Driver Excellence Academy. He hopes to contest the 2012 WRC Academy, funds permitting.
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