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Bates extends ARC lead with dominant showing in Canberra

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 12th May, 2019 - 7:58am

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Harry Bates pic: Aaron Wishart

Harry Bates has continued his strong start to the CAMS Australian Rally Championship by winning both heats of the Netier National Capital Rally.

Bates and co-driver John McCarthy won seven of the eight stages which comprised Round 2 in their Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia Yaris AP4.

They had also won both heats in Western Australia last month and have therefore extended their championship lead.

“Very pleased, I don’t think you could ask for much more than that,” said Bates.

“It was a tough day, this event threw a lot at us. We managed to get through and come out on top.

“Seven out of eight stage wins, sounds pretty good on paper. Maybe next time we can go one better and get them all.”

Molly Taylor and Malcolm Read were the only competitors standing in the way of a complete sweep for Bates with one stage win along the way in the Subaru do Motorsport WRX Sti.

“We knew we had it in the tank, but to be able to put it together is a really good feeling,” said Taylor, who was second in both heats.

“It was great having some close battles and being that close, and that’s us as drivers, that’s what makes it fun.

“It’s nice to keep the pressure on Harry, I think we still have got more to come. I think that’ll keep going into the next round.”

Forest Rally runner-up Lewis Bates, on the other hand, rolled his factory-backed Yaris during the first heat and missed the second as a result.

Mick Patton (Mitsubishi Evo X) finished third in Heat 1 and for the round, while Tom Clarke (Mitsubishi Evo IX) was third in Heat 2.

Round 3 is Subaru Rally Tasmania on June 21-23.

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