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Toyota Genuine Parts’ Harry Bates has taken an early lead in the Make Smoking History Forest Rally, grabbing a one second advantage after two passes of the Trade Hire Busselton Super Special Stage. Round two of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship kicked off in Busselton, Western Australia, this evening with a ceremonial start at Barnard Park before the 59-strong field gave fans a taste of rally action on the 2.7km stage. Bates, in the Toyota Yaris AP4, was fastest on both passes of the super special stage, just 0.5 seconds and 0.6 seconds clear of Contel Communications Steve Glenney in the Subaru WRX STI.

Harry Bates in action at the Forest Rally super special stage on Friday evening. Image: Garrett McIntyre

Tankformers Eli Evans was third fastest in the first of the Skoda Fabia R5s, followed by Yes! Optus’ Adrian Coppin in the second Skoda R5. Subaru do Motorsport’s Molly Taylor rounded out the top five. Heat one of the Forest Rally will continue tomorrow, with competitors heading south to the forests around Nannup to do battle over eight stages and 100 competitive kilometres before heading back for a another shot at the Trade Hire Super Special Stage in Busselton tomorrow night. Heat two will take place around Nannup on Sunday, with a further eight stages. Visit www.rally.com.au to keep up to date with the latest results, news and videos from the Make Smoking History Forest Rally over the weekend. HEAT 1 TOP TEN (after two stages) 1. #2 BATES/MCCARTHY 03:35.4 2. #3 GLENNEY/SARANDIS 03:36.5 (+00:01.1) 3. #4 EVANS/SEARCY 03:37.1 (+00:01.7) 4. #7 COPPIN/KELLY 03:42.3 (+00:06.9) 5. #5 TAYLOR/READ 03:46.6 (+00:11.2) 6. #10 BATES/MOSCATT 03:48.7 (+00:13.3) 7. #6 RAYMOND/CATFORD 03:50.7 (+00:15.3) 8. #9 MARKOVIC/FEAVER 03:51.0 (+00:15.6) 9. #14 O’DOWD/WILDE 03:53.7 (+00:18.3) 10. #11 PENNY/PRESTON 03:54.8 (+00:19.4)
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