Pedder wins in Queensland despite Bates’ Super Sunday

Scott Pedder and co-driver Glenn Macneall have won their first Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) round in 10 years after a thrilling second heat of the Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland.

After a dominant display in Heat 1 where the pair won every stage, Pedder continued that run early on Sunday, before a charge from rivals Harry Bates and Coral Taylor saw them claim Sunday’s heat win.

Finishing second for the heat, the Pedders Suspension and Brakes duo had done enough across the weekend to seal the outright round victory and put themselves right into title contention.

Photos: CH Images

The Toyota and Skoda pilots were locked in an intense battle throughout Sunday’s six stages, however in the end, Bates and Taylor managed to power through to a 14 second heat two win.

Earlier, Pedder got the better start of the two and led the field at the midway point before a puncture on the day’s fourth stage saw him relinquish his lead to Bates, who went on to win the remaining three stages and pick up all-important points on the Galvaniize Insurance Power Stage.

Despite the second place finish on Sunday, Pedder claimed his first ARC win since the Coates Hire Rally Australia in 2014.

“It’s a lot of relief, to be honest and ten years in the making,” Pedder said.

“We knew we had the pace, we’ve just been unlucky for the first two event, but it came together over the last two days thanks to some luck we had with other competitors bombing out, but it feels fantastic.

“I started the year saying if you finished every heat and you’re relatively conservative you can win the Championship. With the points system the way it is, you can’t afford to drop heats, and that’s the plan moving forward. You’ve just got to finish.”

Finishing in second place for the round were Maguire Motorsport’s Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey after the pair rounded out the Heat’s top three, while teammates Steve Maguire and Ben Searcy made it an all-Skoda Fabia R5 podium after finishing the day in fifth place.

In fourth place for the event was Clayton Hoy and Andrew Bennett, who guided their Mitsubishi Evo to sixth place on Sunday, adding to a well-deserved fourth place on Sunday.

In addition to their remarkable outright fourth place, Hoy and Bennett were also rewarded for their efforts with victory in both the Mainfix ARC Production Cup and KickAss Products Motorsport Australia Queensland Rally Championship (QRC).

Rounding out the top five for the event were Jamie Luff and Bradley Luff after a consistent performance saw them pick up sixth place finishes in both heats.

Falling just short of the top five finish for the round were Bates and Taylor, however the Heat 2 win and Galvaniize Insurance Power Stage victory certainly made up for yesterday’s disappointing DNF.

“I’m really sorry to the team for my mistake yesterday. It’s pretty costly and obviously has put a dent in our championship aspirations, but just thankful to them that we’re able to repair it and come back fighting today,” Bates said.

“Today didn’t go perfectly either, but we’ve still salvaged a reasonable result out of it.

“It’s really tight now between Scott and I, so it’s exciting at the halfway point in the season, and I knew that it was going to come down to some pretty tight battles between he and I.

“I think today was probably the first day where we both actually had a reasonable enough run to be able to fight it out. I think we’re going to have plenty of them as the season progresses.”

Sharing seventh place for the weekend were Peter Rullo and James Marquet with Ryan Williams and Brad Jones, the latter of whom also finished second in both the MainFix Production Cup and QRC, while the returning Bodie Reading and Mark Young ended up in eighth place overall.

Making up the final place in the outright top 10 for the weekend were Alex Rullo and Steve Glenney, who finished Heat 2 in fourth place behind Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey.

There was plenty of drama throughout the ARC Cups, as Peter Dimmock and Paul Bennett’s Trenching Systems Australia 2WD Classic Cup victory in Heat 2 saw them claim overall round honours.

In the ARC 2WD Cup, Justin Northage and Scott Muhling took out the win despite finishing Heat 2 in second place, while Mitch Garrad and Taylah Murphy made it two Heat wins for the round to win the ARC Junior Cup.

View full results for the round via the Subaru Results Hub.

The Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship’s next outing will be in Victoria, with The Middle of Everywhere Gippsland Rally on 9-11 August.