Irish driver Joe Reynolds joined the likes of Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Vettel of the FIA’s honours list this year as he secured his second successive FIA Trophy for Historic Regularity Rallies.
The Kildare driver topped the standings by two points from Monaco driver Raffaello Raimondo after winning four of the ten events in the 2012 season and finishing eight of the nine events he competed in throughout the year.
Reynolds, becoming the second Irish FIA World Champion this year with Craig Breen, began his campaign in Holland last January but it was at the Isle of Man where he took his first victory in his BMW Alpina.
He followed this up with a first place finish on home soil in April and quickly added another win in Belgium soon afterwards. Reynolds’ final victory of the season came in Greece in November to secure him the title.
After winning the title in 2011 Reynolds, who also has competed in the Round Ireland Yacht Race, had no plans to compete in 2012. “I didn’t intend to defend the Championship in 2012 at all. I decided to do a few events and after completing them I found myself leading the Championship so I guess I got roped in again,” Reynolds said.
With the competitors having to pilot cars that were manufactured before 1972 and in some events pre-1962, the focus is not just on speed and skill but also on endurance as most of the events can last five days in total.
“It’s a tremendous honour to become a double world champion especially having only gotten into the sport a few years back. While there is an emphasis on speed and skill, there is also that endurance element and that’s something we had this year – a determination to finish each event at whatever cost and a desire to win. It’s not an easy title to win and it went right to the wire,” he said.