For a young driver, seat time is vitally important to their growth, and for Lewis Bates, the wait is extra long.

Last season saw the then 22-year old compete in his first year with the factory Toyota squad, and helped them clinch the manufacturers’ title for the first time in the AP4 era.

“I am definitely missing rallying the most. It feels like forever since I have done a rally now, so I am pretty eager to get back behind the wheel,” Bates said, who is living his lockdown in a busy household.

“I am still going to work each day. Although we are pretty quiet currently with no events happening.

“Whilst I am home I am using the opportunity to do plenty of mountain bike riding,” he added.

While Bates is rapidly improving behind the wheel of his Yaris on the stages, his form on the simulator is taking some time.

“I bought a PlayStation and a steering wheel last week to try out this Dirt Rally 2.0 game that everyone is talking about.

Lewis Bates took the chance to test his Toyota Yaris AP4 at the pre-season test day. Photo: Luke Whitten

“I’m finding it very frustrating as I am crashing way too much,” he laughs.

“The situation is changing every day so it’s very hard to say.

“I hope we are rallying before the end of the year, but obviously people’s health and safety is the most important thing,” he concluded.

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