Bates/Taylor perfect in Rally Launceston sweep

Coral Taylor and Harry Bates

Harry Bates has heaped praise on Coral Taylor after the pair combined to win all 12 stages in a supreme Shannons Rally Launceston performance.

Having entered today with a lead in excess of three minutes, the #1 Toyota GR Yaris AP4 entry again schooled the field to stretch the final victory margin to 5:19.8s over Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt.

Taylor, substituting for Bates’ COVID-stricken regular co-driver John McCarthy, last won an ARC rally in 2009 – also in Tasmania – with Harry’s father Neal.

“Very, very strong weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it to be honest,” said Bates Jnr.

“It’s a really unique and special event, Tasmania, and great to be back in Launceston this year after a three-year hiatus. I’ve had a ball.

“It was great having Coral in the car, very special. She’s done an absolute perfect job all weekend, I’m stunned at how quickly she’s adapted to my notes and just, dare I say it, how well she has gone for a grandma.

“It’s really special to give her another ARC win after 13 years, her last one was actually here in Tasmania at the beginning of 2009, and it was awesome to cross that finish line and know that for all the preparation and everything that Coral put into this week, it was all worth it.

“I had a feeling that Coral had more to give; she and Dad didn’t really retire full on in 2009 when their programme came to an end, but they also haven’t done an outright ARC since.

“Coral, her name is always high in the history books for one of the most successful co-drivers of all time, and I’m really happy that she had one more win in her and we were able to deliver that this weekend.”

Coral Taylor

Taylor added of the unexpected feat: “Pretty excited actually, and a little bit emotional.

“This has been a very special rally for me, to sit in with Harry at the very last minute and then to have the thrill of being in that car with him all weekend and winning, weekends don’t get much better really.”

She assured her appearance in the car will be a one-off though, despite the runaway success, with McCarthy to return for Rally Queensland on July 22-24.

“John has been fantastic. Because this happened so last minute, he had to scan lots of copies of notes and send those to me and he sent a care packet down from Brisbane which had camera fittings and all the different things that he uses in the car,” said Taylor.

“He has been amazing, he has been that back-up help to me all weekend.

“But it is only a one-off and John will be hopping back in with Harry.”

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