Reigning AMA/World Supercross champion Chad Reed took to the dirt on four-wheels today (Thursday) in his first official rally car drive with Toyota, at Queensland Raceway in Australia.
The 26-year-old climbed aboard the 2008 Australian Rally Championship-winning machine of Neal Bates and Coral Taylor - the TRD Corolla Super 2000 - completing a competitive day of testing and clocking up over 100km.
After a short briefing session and some words of advice from Bates, Reed suited up and was belted in to the 190kw, four-wheel drive four-cylinder, putting it through its paces with experienced navigator Taylor at his side.
Reed's competitive instincts and extensive experience on dirt helped him overcome what would normally have been a steep learning curve, and within a few laps he was working on refining his entry into corners and smoothly applying the power into the straight sections.
He completed over 28 laps of the 3.5km circuit this morning and was pleased with his progress.
"I had a blast out there this morning," said Reed. "As the day went on, I got more comfortable behind the wheel and the drying track helped me to find my feet.
"It would have been different if the track was lined with trees, but this test area provided me with a good opportunity to explore the limits and I haven't crashed yet.
"I was able to use what I've learnt through riding dirt bikes and apply it to driving the TRD Corolla; there are obvious differences but the racer within took over and helped me to adjust."
Reed, who has previously been linked to a four-wheel switch in the V8 Supercar championship, revealed that he found the rally car more exciting and looks set to make further outings.
"I'd like to thank Toyota for making this possible and look forward to a fantastic relationship well into the future," said Chad.