Bates confirmed for Trans Am debut

Zach Bates (right)

The latest rising star in the well-known Bates motorsport family will debut in the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series this weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park.

A race winner in both Formula Ford and the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series, Zach Bates will be armed with a Ford Mustang owned by his uncle Nicholas.

The son of Rick Bates, Zach’s uncle Neal and cousin Harry have both won Australian Rally Championship titles.

Zach will be one of 27 cars in the field, with his Mustang backed by Sullivans and MBSFM.

“My uncle Nicholas has a car and he’s been racing it,” he said.

“I’ve participated in a couple of test days at Wakefield Park and completed one at Sydney Motorsport Park, so I haven’t done a lot in it.

“We’ve just been sharing the car and I’ve done a few laps, but Nicholas has raced it already with some success.

“That’s the aim to gain some experience and I honestly don’t know where I’ll be sitting in the field, but I hope not to be going too badly.”

Either way, Bates is keen to test himself against the likes of Nathan Herne and Tim Brook.

“I can’t expect myself to be matching those guys on debut as those guys know the ins and outs of Trans Am,” he continued.

“It’s good just to get the seat time because it’s so different to what I’ve done before in the Formula Ford and 86.

“There is so much body and tyre roll. I mean the tyres were probably the main thing I had to get my head around.

“The Trans Am is just so different to what I’ve driven and anything in Australia.”

He added his gratitude for his father’s mentorship.

“He’s always giving me advice, it never ends,” said the young gun.

“He’s definitely a big helper for me and I’m very fortunate to grow up in a family where there is such a high pedigree around me, so I can just bounce off all their ideas.”

This round of the SpeedSeries, running May 27-29, will be broadcast free-to-air on the Nine Network in addition to live and ad-free coverage via Stan Sport.

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