Neal Bates’ pre-event crash, Tasmania 2000

When you’re heading into the final round of the national championship, and you’re equal on points with Possum Bourne, the last thing you need is to crash in the pre-event test, but that’s exactly what happened to Neal Bates in the lead up to the ARC finale in Tasmania in 2000.

Toyota and Bates had prepared well for the final event of the year, and had call in help from Toyota Team Europe in Germany to assist with their title push.

"We are just amazed to be in this position, able to challenge Possum for the title, especially after the Forest Rally at the beginning of the year," Neal Bates at the media day on the Thursday before the rally.

The Corolla WRCar was well tested and prepared after the two heat win at the Rally of Melbourne.

When Possum Bourne's Subaru Impreza World Rally Car had an engine failure in testing, the odds looked to be stacking heavily in Bates' favour.

It didn't take long for things to turn pear-shaped though, when the Toyota team went testing after the Thursday morning media function.

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