The Shamrock Motorsport driver piloted his Toyota Yaris AP4 to third outright in the final event of the year to secure a podium finish, alongside co-driver Dale Moscatt.

Dalton’s results helped to wrap up a near-perfect season for the Neal Bates Motorsport squad, with factory drivers Lewis and Harry Bates finishing first and second in the title race.

Despite suffering from a stomach bug in the lead-up to the Coffs Coast Rally on the NSW coast last week, Dalton was able to hit the stages with his normal aggression on Saturday.

Dry and dusty conditions were a stark contrast to the wet rallies that made up the first five rounds of the championship, but Dalton and the Yaris coped well.

Only a flat tyre on Sunday morning slowed his progress as he rounded out his best season yet.

“A big thanks to Neal Bates Motorsport who have provided us with a faultless car and they’ve just been a pleasure to work with,” Dalton said.

“We’ve had a fantastic year and a big thanks to Dale.

“Four podiums out of six events is a good return from my first full year doing the Australian Rally Championship, and a podium in the Asia Pacific Championship final just tops it all off.

“A Neal Bates Motorsport top-three in the championship probably wasn’t the goal at the start of the year, but once we picked up our speed we set our aims high.

“I think we deserve it, to be honest, as we’ve just been so consistent throughout the year.”

After finishing seventh in the opening rally of the season in Canberra, Dalton and Moscatt picked up their speed thereafter with podium finishes in Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia and NSW.

Dalton will now take a well-deserved rest from competition as he contemplates his 2023 rally program over the off-season.

Coffs Coast Rally (ARC), final results

1. Nathan Quinn / David Green, Hyundai i20 G4, 1h43m25.7s
2. Lewis Bates / Anthony McLoughlin, Toyota GR Yaris AP4, +2m27.7s
3. Richie Dalton / Dale Moscatt, Toyota Yaris AP4, +4m34.6s
4. Troy Dowel / Bernie Webb, Hyundai i20 Proto, +5m58.9s
5. Daniel Gonzalez / Daymon Nicoli, Skoda Fabia R5, +6m48.2s

2022 Australian Rally Championship – final standings

1. Lewis Bates / Anthony McLoughlin, Toyota GR Yaris AP4
2. Harry Bates / John McCarthy, Toyota GR Yaris AP4
3. Richie Dalton / Dale Moscatt, Toyota Yaris AP4
4. Troy Dowel / Bernie Webb, Hyundai i20 Proto
5. Daniel Gonzalez / Daymon Nicoli, Skoda Fabia R5

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Peter Whitten

Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.
Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.

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