Reigning Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship winner Lewis Bates has been named as a contender for the 2023 CBR Sport Awards.
One of three finalists in the Athlete of the Year Male Sport category, Bates has been recognised for his efforts throughout the 2022 season, which saw him win his first Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship title in a pulsating finish to the year.
Driving with co-driver Anthony McLoughlin, Bates secured the Championship at the Supercheap Auto Coffs Coast Rally in November last year. Bates and McLoughlin overcame a number of challenges throughout the year and performed strongly in the back-half of the season to win their first ever title.
The CBR Sport Awards is an annual gala event celebrating the excellence, resilience, commitment and the innovation that’s been displayed by sportspeople, local clubs and volunteers based in the ACT.
Bates said he was honoured to be nominated.
“This is certainly a surprise, and I am delighted to be nominated for this award. I grew up in Canberra and our team is based here in Canberra, so it feels very special to me to be nominated for such an award and to be recognised by the city I grew up in,” Bates said.
“A big thank you to my co-driver Anthony (McLoughlin) and the entire Neal Bates Motorsport team for their hard work throughout 2022. Rallying is definitely a team sport, and any success of mine is certainly only possible thanks to the work of the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia team.
“2022 was a real rollercoaster but we were delighted to be the winners of the Championship and able to hold up the Possum Bourne Trophy at the Coffs Coast event. It was certainly a very crazy end to what was a really challenging season.”
Bates has been nominated alongside Road Cyclists Michael Matthews and Jay Vine as the three finalists in the Athlete of the Year Male Sport category.
Bates also currently leads the 2023 Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship with one event to run. This year’s Championship battle will again come down to the final round which this year is held in Canberra on 17-19 November.
Bates and his co-driver Anthony McLoughlin will battle against teammates and Lewis’ brother Harry Bates and his co-driver Coral Taylor in the final round of 2023 in the nation’s capital.
The winner will be announced at the 2023 CBR Sport Awards on 23 November at Manuka Oval.
Photo: Oz Sport Photos