Bates secures clean sweep

Harry Bates and Coral Taylor have enjoyed another dominant day in the Shannons Rally Launceston after winning all six stages of Heat 2, including the EROAD Power Stage.

The reigning RSEA safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) champion was just too good throughout Sunday, storming home to a one minute win over Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia teammate Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin.

Rounding out the top three for the second consecutive day was Troy Dowel and Bernie Webb after the duo won an entertaining dual against Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt – just 14 seconds separating them at the end of the EROAD Power Stage.

Despite the youngster enjoying another solid day behind the wheel, the Heat belonged to Bates and Taylor who also claimed maximum bonus points after winning the EROAD Power Stage.

After winning all six stages in yesterday’s Heat, Harry and Taylor looked to replicate their efforts on Sunday and their day started exactly how they would have wanted with comfortable wins on the opening two stages.

“It was a very strong weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” Bates said.

“I loved every second to be honest. It’s a really unique and special event and great to be back in Launceston this year after a three year hiatus. I have had a ball.

“It was also great having Coral (Taylor) in the car. It was very and she did an absolutely perfect job. I am stunned at how quickly she adapted to my notes and, dare I say it, how well she has gone for a grandmother.

“It’s really special to give her another ARC win after more than 10 years. Her last win was here in Tasmania in 2009, so it was awesome across that finish line.

“For all the preparation Coral put in the effort, it was worth it.”

An off on the third stage of the day saw them almost ruin their perfect run, however teammate Lewis Bates couldn’t snatch the stage win and finished just seven tenths off the pace.

Harry didn’t let the moment faze him as he went up another gear after the Service to take out the remaining three stages of the day where he sealed the Heat.

In what was a perfect weekend for Bates, the reigning champion left Launceston with a clean sweep of stage wins, two heat wins and maximum points in the EROAD Power Stage.

Finishing second for the day and second in the EROAD Power Stage was Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia teammate Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin – the duo having recovered nicely after a difficult morning on Saturday.

Unfortunately that disappointing start to the weekend allowed Dalton and Moscatt to finish the event outright in second place –the two crews finishing on equal points but split by time.

While Dowel and Webb managed to finish the day in third place, they fell just one point short of securing an overall podium – however it was still a fantastic weekend for the 21-year-old, who also finished third in the EROAD Power Stage.

Rounding out the top five for day and event overall was Tasmanian star Eddie Maguire, who had quite a successful weekend at national level.

Alongside Zak Brakey, Maguire steered his Mitsubishi Evo 9 to victory in both the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup and the Motorsport Australia Tasmanian Rally Championship.

Finishing second for the Heat in both Cup and Championship was youngster Bodie Reading and Mark Young – the duo having enjoyed a strong stint on Sunday.

Rounding out the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup top three for the day was Cahal Carey and James Ford – an impressive effort considering he was unable to run in fifth or sixth gear all day.

Rounding out the top three for the Tasmanian Championship and just falling short of Carey in the Production cup was Bucky Motorsport’s Ben Newman and Steve Glenney.

In the Shamrock Haulage ARC 2WD Cup, Ryan Williams and Brad Jones picked another Heat win over Dean Ridge and Phillip Bonser – the duo taking out overall victory for the weekend in the process.

The Queenslanders also steered their Ford Fiesta away with top honours in the Glendun ARC Junior Cup, beating James Dimmock and Paul Bennett, who finished third in the 2WD Cup.

Click here to view full results from the day.

The RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship will now switch the cold for the heat, with the Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland next up in Gympie on 22-24 July.