Nick can’t help but smile as he talks, especially as we return to the topic of his own competition record. Although he remains modest about his competitive career he has an enviable record of success, as a navigator, but did he ever try as a driver?
“I have driven lots of course cars on events but I don’t think I have ever competed as a driver, although I do have a Competition Drivers Licence which is useful to keep, you never know! The first event I won was the Taunton Annual Road Rally, that was a good event to win as the local hero at the time was a guy called Dave Pitcher who had Tony Greenwood navigating, we beat them fair and square which we really enjoyed! Then we won events along the way in a 6R4 competing in airfield and single venues events, that was a real thrill sitting in one of those Group B cars hitting 10,500 revs. Normally you can hear yourself speak through the intercom, but in the Metro you heard nothing, I just used to shout the notes and hope the message got through!
“I’ve done a lot of Peugeot Challenge stuff, quite a few rallies in Belgium with Simon Thomas a very fast local driver who suffered from the same problem as many drivers, plenty of talent, not enough funding, the usual story. We got some class wins in Belgium, once we beat Bernard Munster on the Tour of Flanders 2001. Simon was amazing, one of those drivers who drove exactly to the notes, if you said it was flat he took it flat even if he might think it doesn’t look flat – he is one of the few drivers that I worked with who drove exactly to the notes and beyond!”
Nick has been used to navigating in powerful rally cars, his success includes winning in a Ford Focus WRC on a single venue event where the high speed ‘quick reaction’ stages can take both crew to the edge as he explained; “For me, tarmac rallies and pace notes is the ultimate. The highest level of concentration is required because you don’t get much time to think, the margins are tight if you get it wrong, but then you have to take the consequences.
“I haven’t officially retired yet, although I haven’t done an event for a long time, probably back to 2012, I am just too busy.”
How does Nick feel his latest role as Senior Events Manager with HERO-ERA is going? “Great yes, it’s good, it has its challenges like all jobs but when I compare it to the demands of some of my previous roles there is no contest! You want to try launching an international warranty programme in North America grappling with the myriad laws they have there!
“I am being challenged but it’s something I really enjoy doing. I love maps, I’m working with maps every day, I love that they are part of my routine, that’s pretty cool”
On event how does he feel when it all comes off well, does it give him a buzz? Nick continued; “Of course, but you hope with the amount of preparation you put in that it gives you the confidence to know you have got it covered. That’s the really interesting part about it, you have to be ready to adapt, think on your feet. I don’t want to say too much otherwise you set yourself up for a fall!
“I have worked for HERO for years freelancing on events on and off before going full time. I used to like the unexpected because I felt we could react and I could add value to my being there.
“In my full-time role now, I don’t want problems, I want it all to go like clockwork! “
As the company expands into places like the USA, I asked Nick if he was happy to grow with it? “ Yeah, in every role I’ve had with whatever company, I have been prepared to take the opportunities as they come along, it’s exciting times. Tomas and Patrick clearly have a plan as the company grows and I am happy to be part of that.”
Nick Reeves has proved to be another HERO-ERA asset, part of the close-knit competition team under Guy Woodcock who crunch the detail together to organize some of the best rallies anywhere in the world. Nick is currently juggling work between, the Malts, Le Jog and the Trans America, he is loving the job and performing at the top of his trade, but how does he assess his contribution so far?
“Fingers crossed it’s going well, you’re only as good as your last result.”
With that he walked out of the room, clearly, it was time to get far away from my madding questions, he grabbed his maps, put his knapsack on his back and took a hike.