Harry Bates has taken a clean sweep of his home rally, and with it, the Australian Rally Championship points lead at the National Capital Rally.
Harry Bates on his way to winning the National Capital Rally. Photo: Luke WhittenThe Toyota driver took a slender 11 second margin into Sunday, and improved that to over a minute by day’s end, winning three of Sunday’s five stages.
His main challenger throughout heat one, Nathan Quinn, struck trouble, including a puncture during the morning loop of stages and consequently dropped over five minutes, falling to fifth in the standings.
He recovered throughout the afternoon, and despite two stage wins, could only claw one position back, finishing in fourth.
Molly Taylor improved on her overnight position despite losing time on stage 11 with a puncture.
Quinn’s problems elevated her to second for the weekend, giving her valuable championship points in the quest for consecutive titles.
Mick Patton claimed the final podium place following a consistent weekend after a fine drive in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.
Like Patton, Tony Sullens had a strong weekend, rounding out the top five, losing out to a fast finishing Quinn for fourth.
However, Quinn's rally went from bad to worse, with his Lancer breaking down on the drive from the final stage to the podium finish. He would not be classified as a finisher, and slips to third in the ARC points standings.
Eli Evans hit trouble on the morning’s third stage, Cottage 5 Ways. A broken control arm was the cause of his demise.
His three stage wins across the weekend proves the potential of their ever-improving, Mini Cooper AP4.
The championship will move to the beautiful Barossa Valley in South Australia for round four, with September’s Lightforce Rally SA set to be another close encounter.
View our Nat Cap Rally photos HERE.Overall results:
1. Bates/McCarthy, Toyota Corolla S2000, 2:21:16.5
2. Taylor/Hayes, Subaru WRX STI, +1m23.7s
3. Patton/Webb, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +4m31.0s
4. Quinn/Calder, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, +6m01.0s
5. Sullens/Newell, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +6m27.4s
CAMS Australian Rally Championship Points - Top 5
1. Harry Bates 195
2. Molly Taylor 192
3. Nathan Quinn 149
4. Eli Evans 133
5. Tony Sullens 130
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