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2003 Premier State Rally

  1. SS16 MIDDLE RIDGE 4 FINAL
  2. SS14 & SS15 Watagan 2
  3. SS13 Middle Ridge 3
  4. SS11 & SS12 Watagan 1
  5. SS8,SS9 & SS10 Middle Ridge 2
  6. SS4,SS5 & SS6 Middle Ridge 1
  7. SS1 & SS2 Eastern Creek Tarmac
  8. SHAKEDOWN
  9. BATES LOOKING TO BUILD ON SUPER SPECIAL STAGE SUCCESS

SS16 MIDDLE RIDGE 4 FINAL


Neal Bates has scored his best individual heat result of the 2003 Australian Rally Championship, finishing Heat Two of the Premier State Rally in sixth position.
The triple national champion had a steady run today and was able to put vital development miles on Toyota Team Racing's new prototype Group N (P) Corolla Sportivo.

It also matched TTR's best heat result, matching the sixth place finish on the first day of the series in Perth by twin brother Rick.

Rick was a non-starter today after experiencing overheating trouble in yesterday?s first heat that damaged the Corolla's engine. The overheating is believed to have been caused by a build-up of mud from the rain-affected course.

Neal finished the day 1m42.4s behind event winner Ed Ordynski, whose first victory in a year puts him in second place behind Cody Crocker in the title points chase.

~I'm fairly pleased overall with the way the day has gone, though not entirely satisfied, of course, because we?re still not where we want to be,~ said Neal at the finish in Wyong on the NSW Central Coast.

~We still need a lot more development work on the cars before we can compete on an equal footing with the series pace-setters.

~This is the first car in the world to be developed for the Group N (Prototype) regulations and it's an enormous challenge. We are doing it all here in Australia whereas the cars we are trying to beat have been developed internationally at the cost of many millions of dollars by the factory teams.

~Still, we are making progress and looking forward to another step towards the front of the field in the next round in South Australia. We can't do anything about the title, but we'll be giving it everything we have to get onto the podium before the end of the year.~

Neal finished equal eighth overall for the weekend, having failed to score points in Heat One yesterday when he left the road and damaged the Corolla, requiring substantial repairs by the TTR crew.

Analysis of today's results shows that Neal lost just a little over one second per kilometre to the winner, which is the closest he has been all season.

The next round of the Australian Rally Championship is the Coopers Ale Rally South Australia based in the Barossa Valley from August 8-10.

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SS14 & SS15 Watagan 2


Neal Bates has picked up another place and is now running sixth outright with just one stage remaining in Heat Two of the Premier State Rally on the NSW Central Coast.
The Toyota Team Racing driver has driven consistently all day in his Toyota Corolla Sportivo, which was repaired last night after running off the road in yesterday’s first heat.

Bates has a 10-second advantage over John Mitchell and is another 12 seconds ahead of Australian Rally Championship leader Cody Crocker, who broke a rear differential earlier in the day.

Bates, a triple national champion, is looking for another clean run on the final stage, an 11.75-kilometre blast, before heading for the ceremonial finish at the Wyong Town Hall.

"We’ve had no dramas at all today, which is great, and picked up a few places because other people have had some mechanical problems," said Neal at the service break.

“I’m driving the car as hard as I can and if we can hold onto sixth place to the finish I’ll be satisfied with our day’s work.”

Ed Ordynski is seeking his first heat win this year and leads the event by 8.2 seconds over Simon Evans.




Times after SS15 Watagan 2









































Pos.
No.
Driver
Vehicle
Overall Time
1
4
Ed Ordynski/Iain Stewart
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
39:19.4
2
10
Simon Evans/Sue Evans
Dr
Subaru
Dr
39:27.6
3
17
Juha Kangas/Julia Rabbett
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
39:55.7
4
5
Spencer Lowndes/Chris Randell
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
40:12.2
5
18
Mark Thompson/Rita Thompson
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
40:24.0
6
7
Neal Bates/Coral Taylor
Dr
Toyota Corolla Sportivo
Dr
23:48.5
7
21
John Mitchell/Jo Cadman
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
41:00.7
8
2
Cody Crocker/Greg Foletta
Dr
Subaru
Dr
41:45.0
9
15
Craig Neale/Jamie Neale
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
41:12.4
10
22
Brad Goldsborough/Dale Moscatt
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
41:49.0

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SS13 Middle Ridge 3


Toyota Team Racing’s Neal Bates has moved up to seventh place outright in Heat Two of the Premier State Rally on the NSW Central Coast.
Despite the disadvantage of missing yesterday’s two runs over the Middle Ridge stage after damaging his Toyota Corolla Sportivo earlier in the day, Bates kept the leaders within sight on the 11.75-kilometre dash.

Fastest over the stage was event leader Ed Ordysnki, who slashed almost 10 seconds off his best time over the same section yesterday.

Bates is now 57.4 seconds behind the leader.

He should benefit from this morning’s experience because the final three stages are repeated this afternoon, taking the field to the finish in Wyong.




Times after SS12 Watagan 1







































Pos.
No.
Driver
Vehicle
Overall Time
1
4
Ed Ordynski/Iain Stewart
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
22:51.1
2
10
Simon Evans/Sue Evans
Dr
Subaru
Dr
22:55.3
3
3
Dean Herridge/Glenn MacNeall
Dr
Subaru
Dr
23:13.7
4
17
Juha Kangas/Julia Rabbett
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
23:19.3
5
5
Spencer Lowndes/Chris Randell
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
23:24.4
6
18
Mark Thompson/Rita Thompson
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
23:32.4
7
7
Neal Bates/Coral Taylor
Dr
Toyota Corolla Sportivo
Dr
23:48.5
9
21
John Mitchell/Jo Cadman
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
23:52.4

9
15
Craig Neale/Jamie Neale
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
24:14.9
10
11
Mark Pedder/Toni Feaver
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
24:17.6

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SS11 & SS12 Watagan 1


Neal Bates has enjoyed an incident-free beginning to Heat Two of the Premier State Rally, the Toyota Team Racing driver completing the first two stages in eighth position.
The TTR Toyota Corolla Sportivo showed no ill-effects from an off-course excursion during yesterday’s first heat.

"We had no dramas this morning and the car feels fine," said Neal from the first service break.

“We’re still not fast enough, but on the last stage we only dropped 27 seconds over 25 kilometres, which isn’t too bad at this stage of the car’s development.”

Privateers Scott Pedder and Simon Evans, meanwhile, are pressing Ed Ordynski for the lead while series leader Cody Crocker lost a lot of time with a broken rear differential.




Times after SS12 Watagan 1








































Pos.
No.
Driver
Vehicle
Overall Time
1
4
Ed Ordynski/Iain Stewart
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
16:33.1
2
6
Scott Pedder/Paul Humm
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
16:33.6
3
10
Simon Evans/Sue Evans
Dr
Subaru
Dr
16:37.2
4
3
Dean Herridge/Glenn MacNeall
Dr
Subaru
Dr
16:45.47
5
5
Spencer Lowndes/Chris Randell
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
16:55.7
6
17
Juha Kangas/Julia Rabbett
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
16:56.7
7
18
Mark Thompson/Rita Thompson
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
17:06.6
8
7
Neal Bates/Coral Taylor
Dr
Toyota Corolla Sportivo
Dr
17:11.0
9
21
John Mitchell/Jo Cadman
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
17:20.6
10
15
Craig Neale/Jamie Neale
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
17:28.2

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SS8,SS9 & SS10 Middle Ridge 2


Toyota Team Racing has completed repairs to Neal Bates’ damaged Toyota Corolla Sportivo and the three-times Australian Rally Champion will be back in action for tomorrow’s second heat of the Premier State Rally.
Bates will be out to put valuable development kilometres on TTR’s new prototype Corolla Sportivo in the NSW Central Coast event, round three of the national championship.

Twin brother Rick Bates, however, has become a victim of the muddy conditions and been forced out of the event in the team’s second car.

A build-up of mud on the car’s radiator caused it to overheat, which damaged the engine beyond immediate repair.

"The car was actually going very well and we weren’t far off the pace when the water temperature suddenly soared to 151 degrees instead of the normal 95 degrees," Rick said at the overnight service.

“We buttoned off and cruised to the finish, but the engine has cooked itself.”

Repairs to Neal’s car following an off this morning have progressed well and, although the front chassis rail was bent, the TTR crew has been able to straighten it sufficiently to ensure it will be competitive tomorrow.

“I was going very hard on the wet road and went into a corner where there was no dry line way too fast,” said Neal.

“The car was still driveable, so we pressed on to the end of the stage, but it had broken the gearbox cooler and continuing would have wrecked the transmission. When we looked more closely, we found the chassis rail was bent, so it was a solid repair job for the boys.”

Tomorrow’s Heat Two will consist of six special stages before the ceremonial finish in Wyong.




Times after SS10 Middle Ridge 2














































Pos.
No.
Driver
Vehicle
Overall Time
1
2
Cody Crocker/Greg Foletta
Dr
Subaru
Dr
51:46.3
1
4
Ed Ordynski/Iain Stewart
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
51:51.1
3
6
Scott Pedder/Paul Humm
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
51:51.9
4
17
Juha Kangas/Julia Rabbett
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
51:59.6
5
10
Simon Evans/Sue Evans
Dr
Subaru
Dr
51:23.7
6
3
Dean Herridge/Glenn MacNeall
Dr
Subaru
Dr
52:45.7
7
18
Mark Thompson/Rita Thompson
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
53:06.5
8
5
Spencer Lowndes/Chris Randell
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
53:47.7
9
25
Brad Goldsborough/Dale Moscatt
Dr
Subaru
Dr
54:55.5
10
14
Martin Lintott/Tony Jackson
Dr
Subaru
Dr
55:06.8

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SS4,SS5 & SS6 Middle Ridge 1


Rick Bates picked up the mantle of the leading Toyota Team Racing entry in today’s Heat One of the Premier State Rally, round three of the Australian Rally Championship.
Teammate Neal Bates, who was in second place overnight, slid off the road on Special Stage 4 this morning and hit a bank, damaging the gearbox oil cooler in his Toyota Corolla Sportivo.

He and co-driver Coral Taylor were uninjured in the accident, but the Corolla could not continue and is returning to the service area for repairs.

Neal and Coral hope to be back in action this afternoon to put more vital development time into the prototype Corolla Sportivo, but are out of contention for a place.

The second TTR Corolla Sportivo has its own problems, with Rick losing the power steering belt.

Rick was seriously hampered by the problem, which happened just two kilometers after the start, but is still running in 14th position after today’s first three stages and hopes to improve his position this afternoon when the three stages are repeated to complete Heat One.

"We have to expect these sorts of development problems because it’s such a complex task doing it all ourselves here in Australia," said Rick at the service break.

“We’ll repair the steering and get back out there this afternoon and see what we can do.”

Overnight leader, privateer Simon Evans, lost 50 seconds before the day even started when an electrical problem stopped his car, but fellow privateer Scott Pedder has picked up the gauntlet and holds a narrow lead at the lunch break.




Times after SS6 Middle Ridge 1













































Pos.
No.
Driver
Vehicle
Overall Time
1
6
Scott Pedder/Paul Humm
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
27.58.1
2
2
Cody Crocker/Greg Foletta
Dr
Subaru
Dr
28.00.5
3
4
Ed Ordynski/Iain Stewart
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
28.08.1
4
17
Juha Kangas/Julia Rabbett
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
28.08.9
5
3
Dean Herridge/Glenn MacNeall
Dr
Subaru
Dr
28.25.6
6
10
Simon Evans/Sue Evans
Dr
Subaru
Dr
27.44.8
7
18
Mark Thompson/Rita Thompson
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
28.41.5
8
5
Spencer Lowndes/Chris Randell
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
29.06.5
9
25
Brad Goldsborough/Dale Moscatt
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
29:30.3
10
14
Martin Lintott/Tony Jackson
Dr
Subaru
Dr
29:37.8
14
8
Rick Bates/Damien Long
Dr
Toyota Corolla Sportivo
Dr
30.02.9

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SS1 & SS2 Eastern Creek Tarmac


Toyota Team Racing has completed an exciting opening night of the Premier State Rally – round three of the Australian Rally Championship – with both its Toyota Corolla Sportivos in the top three positions.
Neal Bates is second overall after taking the second-fastest times on both runs on the tarmac Super Special Stages held at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney.

He trails privateer Simon Evans by just one-tenth of a second going into the overnight rest before tackling the long forest stages on the NSW Central Coast over the weekend.

Twin brother Rick Bates set the fastest time on the second run, but was only sixth fastest on the first pass to finish the night third overall, 1.6 seconds behind his brother.

The Corollas continued their fine form on tarmac in the title series, with Neal finishing first or second in all six tarmac Super Special Stages held in WA, Queensland and now NSW.

"We had a couple of good runs, but they weren’t quite good enough," said Neal. “Simon did a really good job tonight and we’re really happy to have both cars in the first three.

“We got a bit of fuel surge on the first run, which didn’t cost us much time, but it might have been the difference between finishing first and second.”

A crowd of more than 5000 people witnessed the first rally special stage to be held at Eastern Creek and were treated to the spectacle of top-flight rally cars and drivers in action on tarmac and under lights.

The field will reassemble in the Watagan Forest near Wyong tomorrow for six special stages and another six stages on Sunday.

The area has been badly affected by heavy rain over the past two weeks and, although sunny weather today has helped settle the roads, the crews can expect particularly challenging conditions.




Times after SS2 Eastern Creek











































Pos.
No.
Driver
Vehicle
Overall Time
1
10
Simon Evans/Sue Evans
Dr
Subaru
Dr
4.00.5
2
7
Neal Bates/Coral Taylor
Dr
Toyota Corolla Sportivo
Dr
4.00.6
3
8
Rick Bates/Damien Long
Dr
Toyota Corolla Sportivo
Dr
4.02.9
4
6
Scott Pedder/Paul Humm
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
4.03.0
5
18
Mark Thompson/Rita Thompson
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
4.03.6
6
4
Ed Ordynski/Iain Stewart
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
4.05.0
7
3
Dean Herridge/Glenn MacNeall
Dr
Subaru
Dr
4.05.2
8
17
Juha Kangas/Julia Rabbett
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
4.05.6
9
15
Craig Neale/Jamie Neale
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
4.06.6
10
25
Will Orders/Matt McAdam
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
4.08.8

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SHAKEDOWN


Toyota Team Racing has trialed its two Toyota Corolla Sportivo rally cars ahead of this weekend’s Premier State Rally with some brief shakedown runs on a gravel course at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney.
The shakedown runs are essentially for media and promotional purposes, but the team welcomes any opportunity to put more miles on its developing Group N (Prototype) Corolla Sportivos, which are contesting the Australian Rally Championship for the first time.

The twins in the twin-cams – Neal and Rick Bates – are pleased with the performance of the cars and looking forward to the official event start tonight.

Neal set the fifth-fastest time of 45.8 seconds this morning, just one-tenth of a second faster than Rick.

Recent heavy rain has played havoc with the weekend course, including tonight’s Super Special Stages to be held under lights at Eastern Creek.

The planned gravel course that was to have been used for the first of two stages has been abandoned because it was too slippery.

Both Super Special Stages will now be all-tarmac affairs, using a section of the race circuit but running in the opposite direction to that used by the V8 Supercars.

Event organizers have also been forced to reconvene the weekend’s forest stages in the Watagan Forest near Wyong on the NSW Central Coast, dropping two stages and shortening four others.




Shakedown Times











































Pos.
No.
Driver
Vehicle
Overall Time
1
18
Mark Thompson/Rita Thompson
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
44.2
2
3
Dean Herridge/Glenn MacNeall
Dr
Subaru
Dr
45.0
3
17
Juha Kangas/Julia Rabbett
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
45.4
4
6
Scott Pedder/Paul Humm
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
45.6
5
7
Neal Bates/Coral Taylor
Dr
Toyota Corolla Sportivo
Dr
45.8
=6
8
Rick Bates/Damien Long
Dr
Toyota Corolla Sportivo
Dr
45.9
=6
4
Ed Ordynski/Iain Stewart
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
45.9
8
10
Simon Evans/Sue Evans
Dr
Subaru
Dr
46.0
9
5
Spencer Lowndes/Chris Randell
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
46.2
10
25
Brad Goldsborough/Dale Moscatt
Dr
Mitsubishi
Dr
46.4



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BATES LOOKING TO BUILD ON SUPER SPECIAL STAGE SUCCESS


Toyota Team Racing driver Neal Bates hopes to continue his hot form in Super Special Stages this year when the Premier State Rally kicks off at Eastern Creek Raceway on the outskirts of Sydney on Friday night (July 4).
Bates is two from two after winning the equivalent stages in the opening rounds of the 2003 Australian Rally Championship in Western Australia and Queensland.

The triple Australian champion is making his comeback to the series this year driving a Toyota Corolla Sportivo built to the new Group N Prototype regulations.

With long-time co-driver Coral Taylor, Bates is getting more competitive with each outing in the prototype four-wheel drive Corolla and hopes to continue that progress in the New South Wales round.

His hot form on the high-profile tarmac Super Special Stages this year makes him the man to beat under lights at Eastern Creek on Friday.

"I’ve had a bit of hillclimb and circuit racing experience over the years, so I don’t mind the tarmac stages," said Bates.

“The important thing is to hook right into it from the outset because it’s all over by the time you warm up.

“I haven’t had a chance to look at the Eastern Creek course, but it sounds really interesting and I hope there’s a big crowd because the atmosphere should be brilliant.”

Neal won the tarmac Busselton Toyota Super Stages that kicked off the opening round in WA, then set the fastest times on both runs up the Hella Hillclimb near Noosa in Queensland just three weeks ago.

About 70 rally drivers will compete on two different spectator friendly three-kilometre courses at Eastern Creek that have been designed to bring the excitement of top-class rallying to the people of Sydney.

The first course combines gravel and grass while the second takes in the race circuit, but running in the opposite direction to that used by the V8 Supercars.

On Saturday and Sunday, the action moves into the Watagan Forest near Wyong on the NSW Central Coast, an area rich in rally history.

The Premier State Rally will use some forest stages that have changed little since the 1980s, enabling comparisons between the two-wheel-drive cars of the past and the current 4WD, turbocharged machines.

Although the TTR Group N (P) Corolla Sportivo is built to more restrictive regulations than a generation ago, Bates believes that the technological advances will result in much faster times over the same course.

…..ends/9126

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