Champion Bates confirms 2024 line up

2023 champion Harry Bates has confirmed that he will contest the 2024 Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) alongside five-time champion co-driver Coral Taylor.

The duo took out their first title together in 2023 after an epic season finale in Canberra, with the final points margin seeing them claim the Championship by only a single point ahead of their Toyota teammates.

Speaking with popular motorsport presenter Greg Rust on a Motorsport Brief edition of Rusty’s Garage, Bates revealed that Taylor will once again call the notes for him, as well as the potential to upgrade to a new car.

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“We’re in talks about whether we will be in the Toyota Yaris GR AP4 next year or in new cars,” Bates said.

“Toyota globally have the Toyota GR Yaris Rally 2 and it is our intention to get into those at some point, but we have no plans yet.

“As far as my side of the stable, I will still have Coral in the co-driver’s seat next year which I am looking forward to. She is going around again vying for a sixth title, which will be pretty cool.

“Certainly, my number one mechanic will still be Sam (Elliot), who has been the number one mechanic for my car since 2016, so he is another guy I have a longstanding partnership with, and we have now collected two championships together which is a cool thing.”

Photo: Gears ‘N’ Wheels Photography

In addition to the 2024 season, Bates and Rust also discussed a range of other topics relating to the champion’s career, including his future, being a multiple-time ARC champion, and that remarkable final day of the 2023 season.

“For Coral and I to be standing there together waiting in anticipation for that moment – we were both overcome with slightly different emotions,” Bates explained.

“For me, it was probably a mixture of relief and elation that we had done it. For her, it was emotion straight away.

“She has obviously been around the sport for a long time and probably never thought that she would be in the position again to win an ARC.

“Her last win came in 2008 with my dad and here she is, 15 years later, achieving her fifth ARC championship – it’s pretty staggering.

“She is 62-years-old, yet still so capable in the car, perfect on the notes, such a top co-driver, and a great friend to have in the car. We had a great year and achieved what we wanted to achieve.”

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