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Multiple Australian Rally Championship-winning motorsport team Neal Bates Motorsport (NBM) has launched its website just days before it makes its highly-anticipated return to the world rally stage at Repco Rally Australia.

NBM’s home in cyberspace can be found at www.NealBates.com.au and provides an opportunity for fans of the team to keep up to date with all the latest news, starting with the local round of the World Rally Championship (WRC).

“I hope our fans enjoy looking at the site and I urge them to keep up to date with everything from Rally Australia throughout the week,” team boss Neal Bates said.

The four-time Australian Rally Champion will be joined by regular co-driver Coral Taylor for the Down Under round of the WRC and he is eagerly awaiting the chance to pit his locally developed Toyota Corolla S2000 against the world’s best teams.

“I saw the DVD of the roads that went out to all the competitors and I must say they look absolutely fantastic,” Bates said.

“The road surface will be similar to the rally we do in nearby Coffs Harbour. If it stays dry the roads will be hard-packed and fast, but if it rains then the roads could get extremely slippery.”

The rally will be the first for Bates’ newly-homologated Corolla S2000, which has been through the final stages of approval to allow it to compete in international events.

Rally Australia will be the 10th time Bates and Taylor have contested the local round of the WRC, and Bates thinks people will be surprised by the number of spectators that attend.

“The car is primed and ready and our goal is to be up the front in the lead bunch,” Bates said.

“A PWRC (production class) podium is certainly possible, and we are aiming for it, but the competition will be tough and it won’t be an easy task.

“WRC’s return is fantastic for rallying and it has proved so popular that the organisers had to produce more tickets. The rally will also bring a lot of investment to the area – I really think people will get a shock at how big it is going to be.”

NBM will run a short test session on Monday before Rally Australia gets underway on Thursday night with two runs on the Tweed Super Special Stage, based at Murwillumbah, south-west of Tweed Heads.

Rally Australia will be contested across 35 stages – the most of any WRC round – and includes more than 340 kilometres of competitive action.

NBM will be tackling Repco Rally Australia with support from Toyota Australia, Carsguide.com.au and the Melanoma Foundation.

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