The Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) official standings have been updated after a thrilling weekend at PowerPlay Adelaide Hills Rally.
Championship leaders Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin have extended their outright lead out to 23 points ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia teammates, Harry Bates and Coral Taylor after their second round win of the season.
Harry and Taylor remain in second place with the aid of a Heat 1 victory earlier on in the weekend, before a penalty and a spin in Heat 2 all but hampered their chances at another round victory despite a dominant performance for much of the event.
Victory in the EROAD Power Stage allowed both Harry and Taylor to pick up some valuable bonus points and keep them well and truly in the hunt.
While the top two remain the same, there was plenty of movement below them in the absence of former third-place runners, Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood-Smith.
A third-straight podium finish for Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey sees the duo as the new placeholders, with Luke Anear and Malcolm Read a further 38 points back after a top-three finish in the EROAD Power Stage and a fourth-place finish in Heat 2.
Quinn and Winwood-Smith round out the top five and remain within reaching distance of Anear and Read, sitting only 18 points back.
There will be plenty to play for in the final round of the 2023 season, the Subaru Canberra Rally of Canberra, as less than 50 points separates the bottom half of the outright top 10 in both Driver and Co-Driver Championships.
Leading the drivers’ charge is Bodie Reading over Daniel Gonzalez, Jamie Luff, Troy Dowel and Peter Rullo – with all still in the fight for a top-five finish.
For co-drivers, Mark Young occupies sixth place, while Bradley Luff has a one point advantage over Daymon Nicoli. Bernie Webb and James Marquet round out the top 10.
Unfortunately for Reading and Young – a DNF in South Australia saw their lead in the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup standings reduced to just 25 points after direct title rivals Steve Maguire and Ben Searcy finished second to Molly Taylor and Andy Sarandis by just 12 seconds.
With Reading unlikely to attend Canberra due to the damage sustained to the car, meaning Maguire and Searcy can potentially take out the title.
Promoted to third in the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup was Gandewa Sanders, thanks to a solid drive and a brilliant effort from his team in repairing his car between rounds. His regular co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino also sits in third, despite missing South Australia.
Another class win for Ben and Cathy Hayes sees their already-unassailable ARC 2WD Cup lead extended ahead of Canberra, while Tom Clarke and Ryan Preston spoiled the party for Ian Thompson and Craig Sheahan, as the latter was unable to maximise the points advantage needed over class leaders, David Thompson and Matthew Sanders.
The standings also remained the same in the Shamrock Haulage ARC Junior Cup, where despite a class win, Mitch Garrad and Lucas Zinsstag were unable to threaten Joshua Wiedman and Nick Reid’s comfortable advantage.
The final round of Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship will be the Subaru Canberra Rally of Canberra on 18-19 November.