Rally title fight between brothers and teammates

Brother against brother, teammate against teammate, who will win the ARC out of Lewis and Harry Bates? Image: Supplied

At this weekend’s Subaru Canberra Rally of Canberra, the Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship title fight will be decided. It will be between Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin and Harry Bates and Coral Taylor.

It is sixth and final round and the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia crews in their Toyota GR Yaris AP4 are separated by 23 points with 110 points on offer. One hundred will go to the winner with an additional 10 to whoever wins Sunday’s EROAD Power Stage.

If points leaders Lewis Bates and his navigator McLoughlin win the event, its game over and they will achieve back-to-back ARCs. Harry Bates and Taylor need to win the event, and the Power Stage, and they win regardless of the placings of their teammates.

More intriguing is that there are several other scenarios in play, dependent on where each finish and how they place in the Power Stage.

A field of 34 will contest the season finale in the nation’s capital. While the two Toyota crews will decide the championship, there are plenty of big names on the entry list with many high-profile crews making their return to the ARC.

Richie Dalton will make his first appearance for the year, teamed with Dale Moscatt, also in a Yaris. In his first national rally since 2021, Adrian Stratford will be in a Ford Fiesta G4 with his navigator to be advised.

They will be up against regular crews Luke Anear and Malcolm Read (Fiesta R5), Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey (Skoda Fabi R5) and Daniel Gonzalez and Morgan Ward (Skoda).

The Production Cup is also in the balance, between the two main contenders Bodie Reading and Mark Young (Subaru WRX STi), and Steve Maguire and Ben Searcy (Mitsubishi EVO 9).

Each driver’s four best results of the season contribute to their result which makes the Production Cup a simpler equation to determine the title outcome.

Reading holds a 30-point advantage and must finish better that fourth, should Maguire win the final round. If Maguire and Reading place third, the latter will take the title on a countback. Young has already won the navigators’ title.

There will be 15 in the class which includes Molly Taylor and Andy Sarandis (Subaru), Simon and Elysia Jansen and Chris Higgs and Steve Fisher in EVO 6s. Last year’s winner Taylor Gill and Daniel Brkic (Subaru) return after rallies overseas.

Also running at the event is the Motorsport Australia NSW Rally Championship and the ACT Regional Rally, with 23 crews contesting both national and state level.

The Rally of Canberra will be contested over 12 special stages and around 181kms on November 18-19.

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