Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Lewis Bates has started to get his eye in behind the wheel of his Toyota Yaris AP4, with a solid outing at the Brindabella Motor Sport Club’s recent Rallye Des Femmes.
The event was the first opportunity Bates had to test out his new wheels after replacing last year’s Toyota Corolla S2000 with his brother Harry’s 2018 top spec Toyota Yaris AP4.
It was also another chance for Bates to build a partnership with co-driver Anthony McLoughlin, after the pair competed for the first time together at Kennards Hire Rally Australia in November – Bates conforming McLoughlin would sit beside him for his 2019 CAMS Australian Rally Championship campaign.
With the event focused on female competitors, male crews including Bates and McLoughlin were given the chance to compete on the same stages and get some valuable seat time.
After the successful test day, Bates was thrilled with the performance of both the car and himself.
“The day went really well and we are happy with the progress that we made, “ Bates said.
“For us, it was more of a test day for Anthony and me to have more seat time in the Yaris because we have not driven it much and it was basically our first outing in it.
“It was a dry circuit and the conditions were slippery and challenging but we definitely learned a lot and it was good to spend some time in the Yaris.
“Overall the car went fantastic and it was problem free, which has given us more confidence ahead of the 2019 ARC season and that was the main thing to take out of the day.”
The CAMS Australian Rally Championship kicks off in one and half months with the Make Smoking History Forest Rally in Western Australia on 5-7 April.