RegisterForgot your password?
  • Lightbox
Press Releases


The Toyota team of Neal Bates and Coral Taylor has taken a strong second place in the Rally of Canberra after a gritty recovery following some unusual mechanical setbacks.
The Corolla World Rally Car was slowed by driveshaft failures on the first two days of the three-day event.

The failures caused Bates and co-driver Taylor to lose more than five minutes.

~The thing that hurts most is to think that we could have won the event if it wasn’t for these problems,~ said Bates.

“First the left one went and then the right, it just shouldn’t have happened!~”

The Toyota team’s quest to make up for lost time was aided by rival Possum Bourne experiencing mechanical problems of his own on Saturday.

Bates and Taylor then staged a spectacular fight back on the third and final day of the event, the first round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

Starting with a two minute and 23 second (2min 23s) deficit, by the end of the rally they were just one minute and nine seconds (1m 09s) behind winners and arch-rivals Bourne and his co-driver Mark Stacey.

~Because we had nothing to lose we decided we would just go as hard as we could,~ said Bates. ~The car was great all day.~

Bates said an analysis of stage times showed that while Bourne’s new car still has a speed advantage over the four year-old Corolla, the gap has narrowed.

The Toyota team finished the Rally of Canberra on a high note, beating Bourne in the final EPIC Super Special Stage by just one tenth of a second.

Bates and Taylor will go into the next round of the Australian Rally Championship in Queensland full of confidence, especially since they have an excellent record of results in the event.

The Rally of Queensland will be held on the Sunshine Coast on June 16-17.

Neal Bates sets quickest time on the very last stage of 2001 Rally of Canberra.