AUSTRALIAN driver Brendan Reeves has been praised by M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson after scoring a commanding win on the United States debut of the UK squad’s new one-litre Ford Fiesta R2.
Reeves, co-driven by countryman Anthony McLoughlin, finished 13 minutes in front in the two-wheel drive class and sixth outright in last weekend’s New England Forest Rally, a round of the Rally America championship series.
Malcolm Wilson, managing director of M-Sport, said he was delighted with Reeves’ win in the three-cylinder Eco-Boost Fiesta.
“Brendan was sensational and he has proven that the new Fiesta R2 has the potential to compete with the (4WD) Super Production cars as well as out-performing its class rivals,” he said.
Reeves, the 2013 Rally America 2WD champion, got off to a flying start in the rally. Despite having not competed in America this year, he did not hold back and was able to showcase the speed of his new charge from the off.
“We had such a great rally and this new Fiesta R2 really is a pleasure to drive,” he said.
“I’ve driven a lot of competitive mileage with the old Fiesta R2 and I could feel the increased performance as soon as I got behind the wheel. There seems to be an improvement in almost every area – especially in the slow corners – and the engine is just incredible.
“To think that they can get so much out of a one-litre engine is amazing and it sounds phenomenal.
“I must also say a big thanks to Anthony for being absolutely on-point with the notes and to all of the team for a great weekend.”
Encouraged by global superstar Ken Block, M-Sport crossed the Atlantic to take new opportunities to the Rally America scene with a competitively-priced competition car capable of taking the spoils.
It also debuted a new Fiesta R5 2.0 litre car in the hands of Boston driver Ramana Lagemann and Canadian Nathalie Richard.
A simple pacenote error cost the pair any hope of a podium when an unsighted rock on the opening speed test damaged the suspension.
Lagemann returned to action on Saturday and posted a string of top-three times comparable with those of Travis Pastrana to finish eighth overall.