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Claims that Harry Bates’ team received special dispensation from the organisers have been refuted by Lightforce Rally SA, after Bates crashed on day one of the event.

Harry Bates' Corolla was extensively damaged after his crash on Day 1 of Lightforce Rally SA.After the Corolla of Bates and John McCarthy slid off the road and hit trees at around 150km/h, the “Telephone Road” stage was stopped for considerable time.

The location of the car was assessed by event officials, and the Neal Bates Motorsport crew were then allowed to extricate the car from the forest before the stage was restarted.

On a Facebook post, Lightforce Rally SA clarified the situation as follows:

- Car 4 went off on Telephone Road during Heat One

- Medical Intervention Vehicles and Recovery vehicles were sent into the stage to assess and provide medical attention

- Based on reports and photos from the stage coupled with extensive knowledge of the road involved, the Clerk of Course made the decision that the car was in an unsafe position.

- The only way to recover the vehicle to a safe position was to extract it from the stage, and as the car had significant damage including missing wheels this took longer than originally anticipated.

- Car 4 did not finish Heat One, so received no championship points.

- The Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship do not run events on the ground - this is down to the local organising team, who made an impartial assessment based on all the facts.

- Car 4 was able to complete repairs and book in before their 4am deadline.

Regards,
Lightforce Rally SA

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