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DOUBLE GOLD FOR TOYOTA IN BALLARAT RALLY

**Toyota's Harry Bates wins first round of Australian Rally Championship**
**Maiden victory for Toyota Genuine Parts Yaris AP4**
**Harry's second consecutive victory in Ballarat; brother Lewis fourth in Corolla**


Toyota Genuine Parts driver Harry Bates has won the opening round of the 2018 Australian Rally Championship, giving his new Yaris AP4 car its maiden victory.

Bates and co-driver John McCarthy won both heats of the two-day Eureka Rally in the Ballarat region, claiming 11 of the 15 completed special stages and taking a maximum possible 81 championship points.

It was 22-years-old Bates' second consecutive Eureka Rally victory, after last year becoming the youngest driver to win an ARC round.

Younger brother Lewis Bates and co-driver Dale Moscatt added to the celebrations in the Neal Bates Motorsport team, finishing fourth overall in the Corolla S2000 formerly driven by father Neal Bates and then Harry.

"What a weekend, we're over the moon! The team has worked so hard to build the Yaris; it was great to repay them with a win," Harry Bates said.

"Day one was really tight competition at the front of the field and frankly hard work to win by 2.7 seconds. It was hot and dry, with lots of tyre wear.

"Day two we gained the lead early and could build from there.

"Compared with last year, we were one second per kilometre quicker, which is a big gain. It shows how much better the Yaris AP4 is and how much more competitive the ARC has become.

"The aim when the Yaris concept was hatched at our base in Canberra was to create a more powerful and agile car. Now we can take our learnings from here and do more development for round two in Western Australia."

Lewis Bates said he had well and truly achieved his goal of completing the full event and setting competitive stage times.

"It was only my second rally in a 4WD and I am learning stage by stage, so fourth outright for the weekend was a bonus," he said.

"Saturday was especially good, the stages suited me. Sunday was more technical, but that will come with experience.

"The car was faultless; I was so happy with it. Dad was delighted to have both cars finish with strong results."

The second of six ARC rounds is the Forest Rally in Western Australia on April 27-29.

Toyota motorsport
Toyota has a proud international motorsport history spanning more than 60 years. It became the first Japanese car manufacturer to enter international motorsport when it contested the 1957 Round Australia Trial. This is why many people consider Australia to be the birthplace of Toyota motorsport. Today, Toyota contests the FIA-sanctioned World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship which features the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the gruelling Dakar Rally. Closer to home, the Toyota 86 Racing Series seeks to develop the talent of tomorrow as Australia's premier grassroots circuit-racing category. Toyota also supports the Neal Bates Motorsport team in the Australian Rally Championship.

...ends/

For more information, please contact:

James Wang
Senior Lifestyle and Motorsport Public Relations Consultant
Mob: (0431) 431 082
james.wang@toyota.com.au



 
IMAGES

Harry Bates gave the Toyota Genuine Parts Yaris its maiden victory in the Eureka Rally.
Toyota Genuine Parts driver Harry Bates (right) and John McCarthy with their Eureka Rally silverware.
Harry Bates gave the Toyota Genuine Parts Yaris its maiden victory in the Eureka Rally.
Harry Bates gave the Toyota Genuine Parts Yaris its maiden victory in the Eureka Rally.