Bates brothers deliver Toyota one-two in ARC opener

Harry Bates

Harry Bates has taken victory and Toyota team-mate Lewis Bates second place in the Netier National Capital Rally which opened the 2021 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship.

Harry Bates and co-driver John McCarthy won 11 stages while Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin took out the other three, giving the GR Yaris AP4 a sweep of its first event.

It was not a trouble-free showing for Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia’s new weapon, with the eventual rally winner encountering a turbo boost issue on the opening day, then an electrical drama on the penultimate stage.

The latter of those problems cost Harry Bates a minute relative to his younger brother, but he had enough time in reserve to win the National Capital Rally by 43.6s.

That included victory in the final stage, the event’s first ever Power Stage, to collect 10 bonus points.

“It was a great weekend for not only me but for the whole team,” he said.

“We were hoping for the best when we rolled out two new cars, but you always have the fear when things could go wrong. Fortunately, they [electronic issues] were only minor and we are here as the winners.

“The penultimate stage when you’re leading the rally is not an ideal time to have an issue but it was just an electrical issue. We dealt with it on the liaison, fixed the issue and went through the power stage with no issues.

“Rally Queensland is a new event. Looking forward to getting back to Queensland as we haven’t been there since 2016, as well as the entry list to see who can give us a run for our money.”

Lewis Bates, who did not have the best form line at the National Capital Rally, was pleased with how the event went with a brand-new car.

“It’s a brand-new car, you never know what to expect, but we exceeded the whole team’s expectations,” he said.

“Everyone was a bit nervous yesterday, but to have two new GR Yaris both on the podium as a one-two is just a really amazing effort from whole team and we’re really excited.

“Harry was very dominant and has been very fast here for the past five years, so we were happy to get a few stages off him and it gives us confidence going into round two, so we can take that onboard.

“For Anthony and I to finish second, it almost feels like a win because of our past so we are just so happy the weekend.”

Nathan Quinn, the 2017 Australian Rally Champion, finished third overall in his Mitsubishi Evo X, claiming victory in the White Wolf Constructions Production Cup.

Arron Windus (Subaru WRX STI) took fourth and Troy Dowel (Hyundai i20 G4) fifth.

The Shamrock Haulage 2WD Cup and Junior Cup both went to Adrian Stratford (Ford Fiesta G2), while Classic Cup was claimed by Trevor Stilling (Toyota Corolla).

Round 2 is Rally Queensland, on May 21-23.

2021 Sunday Show: Netier National Capital Rally

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