Bates sets pace as ARC makes tarmac debut
- 4th October 2008, 12:15pm
The Australian Rally Championship competitors have enjoyed their first full morning on the bitumen roads of the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge.
Three-time national champion, Neal Bates, holds the upper hand in his Super 2000 Toyota Corolla.
Bates is 20.9 seconds clear of Victorian privateer, Spencer Lowndes, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, while the second Toyota, driven by reigning champion Simon Evans, is in third place.
Glen Raymond is the third Toyota in the top four, while former go-kart racer, Brenton Kaitler holds fifth.
Les Walkden Rallying driver, Michael Guest, has had a frustrating morning, with gearbox and rear differential problems slowing his progress.
Molly Taylor, daughter of Toyota co-driver Coral Taylor, is eighth, despite incurring a 30 second penalty for hitting a chicane on the day’s fourth stage.
After a regroup at Savage River, competitors face a further two competitive stages, before returning to Burnie for the end of Heat 1 this afternoon.
Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge results:
Australian Rally Championship – after SS4
1. Neal Bates, Toyota Corolla, 22m15.5s
2. Spencer Lowndes, Mitsubishi Lancer, +20.9s
3. Simon Evans, Toyota Corolla, +39.4s
4. Glen Raymond, Toyota Corolla, +52.5s
5. Brenton Kaitler, Mitsubishi Lancer, +55.7s
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