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2004 Coopers Pale Ale Rally SA

  1. McMahon Services - TTR TAKES VALUABLE POINTS AWAY FROM A DIFFICULT WEEKEND
  2. Ridgetops 4 - TTR ON TRACK FOR POINTS IN RALLY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA FOR TTR
  3. Retreat Valley 1 - BATES 7TH AFTER TOUGH DAY IN THE FOREST FOR TTR
  4. Ridgetops 1 - TOUGH MORNING FOR TTR
  5. Shakedown - BATES FASTEST IN SHAKEDOWN FOR RALLY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
  6. Preview - EVANS CLEARED TO RACE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

McMahon Services - TTR TAKES VALUABLE POINTS AWAY FROM A DIFFICULT WEEKEND


Toyota Team Racing's Simon Evans and Neal Bates finished 7th and 8th respectively in the Cooper's Pale Ale Rally of South Australia this weekend.

Evans finished today's heat in 7th place, 1:19.1sec behind heat and rally winner Chris Atkinson in a Subaru. Bates was a further one second behind.

The result keeps Evans hopes alive in the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship. He now lies in 5th place, 25 points behind series leader Cody Crocker. Bates lies 7th in the championship.

Subaru privateer Chris Atkinson won today's heat and the event, ahead of the Mitsubishi pair of Ed Ordynski and Juha Kangas.

For Evans, today's heat capped off a remarkable comeback from a broken leg suffered in the Safari Rally Tasmania just five weeks ago.

Although he was disappointed to have been sidelined with engine problems yesterday, Evans was satisfied with his weekend's work.

~It was a fantastic feeling just to get back out in the forest again and get racing. This weekend I was just concentrating on keeping it clean and coming through with the car unscathed,~ he said.

He said the weekend would stand him in good stead for the Premier Rally in NSW next month.

~It was important to compete here and now that I've had a run, I'll be back to my best for Sydney,~ he said.

Bates was full of praise for his team mate.

~After the accident in Tasmania I thought there was no way he'd be racing in this event, but he's done a great job and he'll be much more in tune for the event in Sydney now,~ he said.

Overall, Bates was disappointed with the weekend's result, with the Corolla lacking mechanical grip through fast corners.

~We were both driving the cars as hard as they would go, but we're lacking sideways grip, which means we are using too much of the road on the fast corners and not getting through them with enough car speed,~ he said.

The Globalstar Australian Rally Championship now moves to Sydney for the Premier State Rally from August 27-29.


















































1. Chris Atkinson Subaru 52:08.7
2. Ed Ordynski Mitsubishi +30.1
3. Juha Kangas Mitsubishi +37.8
4. Cody Crocker Subaru +43.4
5. Dean Herridge Subaru +46.2
6. Scott Pedder Mitsubishi +48.6
7. Neal Bates Toyota +1:19.1
8. Simon Evans Toyota +1.20.1

Championship Standings



















































1. Cody Crocker Subaru 108pts
2. Juha Kangas Mitsubishi 92
3. Dean Herridge Subaru 86
4. Chris Atkinson Subaru 85
5. Simon Evans Toyota 83
6. Ed Ordynski Mitsubishi 74
7. Neal Bates Toyota 70
8. Scott Pedder Mitsubishi 64


Further information:


Michael Breen

Toyota Team Racing

0418 447 064








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Ridgetops 4 - TTR ON TRACK FOR POINTS IN RALLY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA FOR TTR


Toyota Team Racing duo Simon Evans and Neal Bates are 7th and 8th after five stages of today's 2nd heat of the Rally of South Australia.

The pair struggled for grip in the slippery conditions this morning, but showed good speed in stage 16.

Evans is 1:00.9 seconds behind the leading Subaru of Chris Atkinson, with TTR team mate Neal Bates a further 6.6sec behind.

~I'm just keeping it clean and making sure I'm there at the finish,~ Evans said.

~It's great to be back in the car again, though,~ he said.

Evans said he was feeling no ill-effects from his injured right leg.

Yesterday's engine problem has put Evans at a disadvantage today, as his main competitors have run some of the stages four times to his one.

Team mate Bates was happy with the performance of his Toyota Corolla, despite losing some time after having a ~moment~ on special stage 17.

~I had a bit of trouble at one stage but overall I'm happy with the car,~ he said.

The cars completed just five stages of the rally this morning, after the rally's 15th stage was cancelled due to bad weather and poor visibility.

Four stages remain in the rally.

Further information:

Michael Breen
Toyota Team Racing
0418 447 064

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Retreat Valley 1 - BATES 7TH AFTER TOUGH DAY IN THE FOREST FOR TTR


Toyota Team Racing's Neal Bates has finished seventh in heat one of the Rally of South Australia.

The number 7 Toyota Corolla showed improved pace in the afternoon stages of the heat, with Bates coming within 0.8sec of a stage win on SS09. He followed up by finishing just 1.5sec off the fastest stage time in SS10.

He ended the day 48.7sec behind winner Juha Kangas in a Mitsubishi.

After a tough day for TTR, the team was buoyed by the sight of Simon Evans' Number 10 Corolla returning to the service park in time to compete in tomorrow's heat.

Evans was forced out of heat one with a blown head gasket after the first stage of the day.

Bates said the afternoon stages had suited the set-up of the Corolla.

~I think the temperature was a bit warmer in the afternoon and the roads had been swept, which suited our tyres,~ he said,

But the Corolla was still lacking grip on some stages.

~It's not gripping well in the long corners, but on the stages where the corners are squarer, it's performing better.

~After Simon went out early we were all a little flat but we knew we had to hang in there and pick up what points we could for Toyota,~ he said.

After heat one, Evans now lies third in the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship, with Bates equal 5th.

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Ridgetops 1 - TOUGH MORNING FOR TTR


Toyota Team Racing suffered a setback on the first stage of the Rally of South Australia when driver Simon Evans was forced out of the rally with engine problems.

Neal Bates is flying the TTR flag in the rally and lies 8th after four stages.

Evans was disappointed to have been forced out of the rally after a remarkable recovery from a broken leg suffered in an accident during the Rally of Tasmania.

His Toyota Corolla suffered a suspected blown head gasket halfway through the first stage and he was forced to pull out of heat one before the start of SS02.

The crew are working on the car and confident it will be ready to start tomorrow.

~Obviously it's really disappointing after everything we've been through to get here, but that's racing and there's nothing you can do about it,~ Evans said

~The real shame is that the car felt so good on the road and we were flying.

~We just have to regroup now and focus on picking up some points tomorrow,~ he said.

Bates said the team would change tyres on his car at the morning re-group as it had struggled for pace on the opening stages.

~It feels good to drive but the times weren't competitive, so we're going to switch tyres and see if that makes a difference,~ he said.

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Shakedown - BATES FASTEST IN SHAKEDOWN FOR RALLY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA


Toyota Team Racing’s Neal Bates topped the timesheets in today’s shakedown session for the Coopers Pale Ale Rally of South Australia.
Bates was fastest over the Mount Crawford forest course this morning, with team mate Simon Evans finishing equal 3rd fastest.

The result capped a good news week for the team, after Evans was declared fit to race on Tuesday, just four weeks after breaking his leg in an accident during the Safari Rally Tasmania.

Evans, who finished on the podium in this event last year, said he was ready to take up the championship fight.

He currently lies second, just five points off the lead.

"I’m just itching to get out there and compete again," he said.

Bates’ form in the shakedown followed an encouraging test session earlier in the week for TTR, where the team tested tyre compounds and suspension set-ups.

Bates said the team had done further testing on a new soft compound BFGoodrich tyre first used in Tasmania.

He believes the compound will come into its own in the cold conditions of the South Australian forests, providing extra grip for the Corollas.

“In Tassie, the stages were a lot longer so tyre wear was a bit of an issue. But here the stages are short and the weather and road conditions should suit the tyre better,” he said.

Last year, TTR enjoyed one of its best results of the season when Bates placed fifth in the event.

Given the big improvements in the car this year, the team is looking to finish on the podium.

“The cars are performing really well this year, so we’ve set our sights much higher than they were last year,” he said.

The Rally of South Australia is a favourite for competitors and spectators alike, with more than 30,000 people expected to attend the event this weekend.

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Preview - EVANS CLEARED TO RACE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA


Toyota Team Racing driver Simon Evans will drive in this weekend’s Coopers Pale Ale Rally of South Australia after passing a final fitness test this morning.
Evans broke his leg in an accident during the Safari Tasmania Rally at the end of June.

The popular Victorian, who lies second in the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship, declared himself a certain starter in this weekend’s rally after a test session near Mount Crawford, South Australia.

Evans was assessed by a medical officer during the test and given the all-clear to compete.

"I’m so happy to be in the car again and I’m really pumped for the weekend. The leg was fine and there’s no reason why I won’t be right on the pace this weekend," he said.

Evans will drive the Toyota Corolla Sportivo used so far in the championship by the team’s junior development driver Ben Barker.

Barker will sit out the South Australian round, but will have his car back for the next round in New South Wales.

Evans said the new car felt comfortable to drive from the outset of today’s test.

“I was saying to Sue when I did the first run this morning that the car feels exactly the same as mine,” he said.

“All the guys in the team have done a fantastic job preparing the cars and I can’t wait to repay their hard work on the weekend,” he said.

TTR team boss Neal Bates said Simon’s return was a boost for the whole team.

“It’s great news for TTR’s championship hopes and good to see Simon back in business so soon,” he said.

The rally starts on Saturday.

15552…ends

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