Bates rapt with back to back rally wins
- 11th May 2008, 9:27pm
Toyota Racing Development’s Neal Bates has backed up his win at the Quit Forest Rally last month taking out round two of the Australian Rally Championship in Canberra today.
It is the first time since 1999 that Bates and co-driver Coral Taylor have won two ARC rounds in a row, and the victory was made even sweeter as it was in front of their home crowd.
“I am over the moon to win two in a row and to be leading the Championship, said Bates. “We’re in a great position and we’ll just keep racking up the points and see how the year pans out. They say good things come in three so bring on Queensland.”
“We are a small team but it’s a real credit to the guys just how amazing the S2000 Corolla is – and the world is starting to pay attention.”
Bates’ TRD team mate and defending series Champion Simon Evans got his Championship back on track in Heat Two, leading from the first stage of the day and taking the Heat by 1 minute 23.5 seconds. The result moved him into second outright for round and the ARC.
“It was an incredibly challenging and tough rally, we didn’t have the perfect start to say the least - losing a minute when we clipped the kangaroo - and I’m super happy to say the least to still finish on the podium,” said Simon.
“I worked so hard all of yesterday and today and the car just came through singing.”
Darren Windus completed a total rebuild of his car before the rally and the hard work paid off with the team standing on the podium for the first time ever at an ARC round.
“It’s awesome, I can’t believe I’m here on the podium,” said Windus. “It’s been a long time coming and it’s great that we can finally pull it together after so many years of bad luck.”
Spencer Lowndes finished round two in fourth outright, finishing the day on the pace after an incident filled morning.
“It’s a good result, I came to the round wanting a podium but considering we hit a kangaroo and rolled the car this morning to walk away with fourth is great,” said Lowndes
Steven Shepheard marked his comeback to the ARC with a fifth outright for the round, followed in equal sixth by Evans Motorsport’s Eli Evans and Fullerton Financial Service’s Bruce Fullerton.
Ryan Smart, Glen Raymond and Dennis Dunlop rounded out the top ten.
Provisional points after round two of the Australian Rally Championship
1. Neal Bates: 148
2. Simon Evans 112
3. Darren Windus 94
= 4. Spencer Lowndes 86
= 4. Eli Evans 86
6. Justin Dowel 62
7. Michael Guest 55
8. Glen Raymond 52
9. Roman Watkins 38
= 10. Steven Shepheard 36
= 10. Brenton Kaitler 36
Rally of Canberra is a joint ARC and Asia Pacific Rally Championship event and as such ARC registered drivers are able to compete in either the international (APRC Rally of Canberra) or national (National Rally of Canberra) competition.
Evans Motorsport’s Eli Evans was competing in the International Rally of Canberra and therefore not counted in the results for the National Rally of Canberra. TRD’s Simon Evans - by benefit of the bonus point for winning the most stages - was the winner of the National Rally of Canberra.
National Rally of Canberra:
1. Simon Evans
2. Neal Bates
3. Darren Windus
4. Spencer Lowndes
=5. Steven Shepheard
=5. Bruce Fullerton
7. Ryan Smart
8. Brett Stilling
9. Glen Raymond
10. Dennis Dunlop
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