The official standings for the Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship have been updated with The Middle of Everywhere Gippsland Rally winners Harry Bates and Coral Taylor closing the gap on current leaders, Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin.
With just under 40 points separating the two Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia crews prior to the 16-stage endurance rally, Harry and Taylor’s outright victory, along with their EROAD Power Stage win saw them reduce the deficit to just 15 points with two rounds to run.
Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood-Smith remain in third overall, however their fifth place finish in Gippsland saw them fall more than 100 points behind Harry and Taylor.
Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey’s second consecutive podium saw them make the most headway up the standings in the top 10, jumping from sixth to fourth overall and just 21 points off Quinn.
Their impressive rise came at the expense of fellow Tasmanians Bodie Reading and Mark Young, while Daniel Gonzalez dropped out the top five in the Drivers’ standings after another challenging ARC outing.
Gonzalez now sits in seventh overall, with Luke Anear and Malcolm Read’s outright fourth place in Victoria helping Anear bank plenty of points to surpass the West Australian into sixth place by 37 points.
Only 16 points now separates Maguire, Reading and Anear after Gippsland, adding to the excitement for the remaining two rounds.
While Reading may find it a challenging task to hold off Anear for fifth, the young Tasmanian has a very healthy lead at the top of the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup standings following title rival Steve Maguire’s forgettable weekend in Victoria.
Maguire and Reading enjoyed a solid battle for much of the weekend until Maguire and co-driver Ben Searcy’s Mitsubishi Evo suffered multiple driveshaft issues on the final day of competition, demoting them to ninth in class.
Fortunately for Maguire, Gandewa Sanders and Rhianon Gelsomino had a big rollover towards the end of the Sunday, reducing the consequence of Maguire’s disappointing finish.
Sitting third on the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup Driver standings is Ben Hayes, while co-driver Cathy Hayes sits second on the Co-Driver standings behind Young as a result of Maguire having had two co-drivers in 2023.
However, while they may not share the same position on the Production Cup standings, Ben and Cathy sit a top of the ARC 2WD Cup – with four class wins from four events.
With Joshua Wiedman and Nick Reid having had issues at multiple points of the rally, their third place behind Nicholas Seymour and Matthew Whitten will have teams breaking out the calculators ahead of the final two events. However, Wiedman and Reid remain as the leaders of the Shamrock Haulage ARC Junior Cup.
David Thompson and Matthew Sanders also went a step closer towards sealing the ARC Classic Cup title in both the Driver and Co-Driver standings after winning their class in Gippsland.
The ARC continues in October with the PowerPlay Adelaide Hills Rally to take place at Shell V Power Motorsport Park and the forests of the Adelaide Hills on 13-15 October.