Bates/McCarthy take ARC title in Adelaide Hills Rally

Harry Bates and John McCarthy have won the 2019 Australian Rally Championship

Harry Bates and John McCarthy have claimed the Australian Rally Championship after taking victory in the Adelaide Hills Rally.

The combo dominated the opening day, setting the fastest time in nine of 10 stages to win Heat 1 by 28.4s over team-mates Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin.

Molly Taylor and Malcolm Read ended the heat third before going fastest on the opening two stages of Heat 2 to take an early initiative.

A string of stage wins for Bates/McCarthy saw the Toyota Gazoo pairing reel in the Taylor/Read Subaru and take over the lead of the rally.

Holding a slender lead heading into the final stage, Bates/McCarthy then lost time to Taylor/Read, who fell just 0.2s short of the Heat 2 win.

For Bates and McCarthy it was enough to seal the Australian Rally Championship with a round to spare.

“I’m completely lost for words at the moment, I can’t quite believe it,” Bates said.

“It was an incredible day and our team were here to see it and yeah it was all very special.”

Co-driver McCarthy added: “We should be pretty proud of ourselves. I think we’ve done a pretty good job managing everything this year

“Everyone speaks very highly of the talent we have have in Australia. We’ve got a good championship and it deserves to grow.”

Behind Taylor and Read in second in Heat 2 was Lewis Bates and McLoughlin in third.

The Australian Rally Championship finale takes place alongside Rally Australia, running from November 15-17 at Coffs Harbour.

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