After a brilliant start to day two of Rally Australia, Australia's top-ranked rally team, Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth, were forced to retire due to mechanical failure, but they will re-start under SupeRally rules on Sunday.

Starting the second full day of competition fifth in the Production World Rally Championship (PWRC) category and eleventh overall, Reeves started the day in fine form. The first loop of four stages brought out the best in Reeves and he recorded top three PWRC stage times on each of them, including the fastest time on SS13, the third stage of the day.

The pair went into the midday service fourth in class and tenth outright, a brilliant effort in a car Reeves hadn't driven in over a year.

After a fantastic morning of rallying, the day was to turn sour. As the crew were preparing to leave the midday service, Reeves' Subaru WRX wouldn't start, a fuel pump issue the cause of the problem. The service crew made some repairs and Reeves and Smyth booked out of service five minutes late, taking a 50 second penalty.

On SS15, a repeat of the morning's first stage, Reeves recorded second-fastest PWRC time, but after the road section between SS15 and SS16, the car again failed to start. Roadside repairs were attempted but to no avail, and the pair were forced to call it a day.

After returning to service, the source of the problem was found to be a blown relay underneath the dash. With a new fuel pump fitted, the duo are now set to re-start on Sunday.

"Today's roads were absolutely incredible," Reeves said. "They are by far the best roads I've rallied on anywhere in the world."

"We are bitterly disappointed that we had to retire today as we were having such a great event. I was really happy with our stage times today and to be in the top ten outright of a WRC rally was awesome."

"Tomorrow our aim is to drive as fast and as clean as possible and get a good result."


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