National Capital Rally champion Brendan Reeves overcame a 1.2-second deficit in the final stage to secure a clean sweep at the opening round of the Australian Rally Championship.
Nanjing Night Net

The 25-year-old Victorian backed up his heat win on Saturday’s eight stages with another overall victory on Sunday.

Reeves was pushed across the seven stages on Sunday by Scott Pedder, crossing the finishing line just 5.4 seconds in front, with Canberra’s Adrian Coppin picking up his second-straight third place, 1:48.8 behind the leader.

”Going into the third-last stage we took the lead back and then Scott took the lead back again,” Reeves said.

”We were sitting on the start line of the last stage 1.2 seconds behind and we had to give everything, so it was a great feeling to know we took it all back on the last stage.

”He was two minutes in front of me on the road so I knew we would know either way once I was finished. We just threw everything at it and hit quite a lot of things and found a lot of holes out there, but got through the stage unscathed and came out on top.”

Reeves won five of the seven stages in the ARC division on Sunday to make it 10 from 15 stages for the weekend.

Defending champion Eli Evans was forced to pull out on Saturday after sustaining extensive mechanical damage in a crash on the opening day.

Reeves competed in the US last year, but has set his sights on continuing his strong form at the next round of the ARC in Western Australia in April.

”We just want to focus on the Australian title this year,” he said.

”We tried and we failed last year, so we want to make sure we get it this year.”

Rally legend Neal Bates and long-time navigator Coral Taylor showed all their experience in winning the Classic section in their 1980 Toyota Celica.

Bates declared he would be a certain starter at next year’s event after being blown away by the quality of the course.

He said it was one of the best Canberra rallies he had contested.

”The roads were fantastic, the organisation was fantastic. We were doing very similar times to the top guys.

”We won three stages outright yesterday, to be doing that in a 1980 Celica, we’re very happy.”

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