Still on a high from winning last weekend’s Rally of Lithgow, siblings Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth are geared up for next week’s Targa Tasmania tarmac rally where they’ll fly the flag for Mazda Motorsport in a turbocharged Mazda3 MPS.
Reeves and Smyth, who have been rallying together since 2006, are one third of Mazda Australia’s three-pronged attack on the gruelling 2000km closed-road rally that runs from April 28 to May 3.
Targa Tasmania 2009 marks the pair’s 28th rally together and first ever Targa for Reeves.
But the front-wheel drive Mazda3 MPS is not unfamiliar territory for the 20-year-old who, in the same car, won the 2008 Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge Showroom category.
“The Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge was a great practice event for Targa,” says Reeves. “It gave me a good feel for the Mazda3 MPS and how it handles Tasmania’s tricky roads and unpredictable weather.
“Plus we just had a really good week’s recce down in Tasmania in a Mazda3 MPS road car, which is not that different from the race car, so we’re feeling really confident that we can put on another good show for Mazda.”
Mazda motorsport manager Allan Horsley is confident his youngest driver will do him proud.
“To have competed in 28 rallies together in only three years is incredible,” says Horsley. “Brendan certainly has experience beyond his years and Rhianon is a very dedicated navigator.
“They have a very trusting relationship which makes them great in the car together.”
Mazda’s driver line-up also includes rally ace Rick Bates in a matching Mazda3 MPS, and Targa reigning champion Steve Glenney in a Mazda RX-8 SP.
Mazda3 MPS #968
Driver: Brendan Reeves
Lives: Wedderburn, VIC
Co-driver: Rhianon Smyth
Lives: Ballarat, VIC