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BATES BECOMES YOUNGEST ARC ROUND WINNER

Toyota's Harry Bates has become the youngest winning driver in Australian Rally Championship history by taking out Victoria's Eureka Rally, the opening round of the 2017 season.

Bates, 22, from Canberra and co-driver John McCarthy in the Toyota Genuine Parts Corolla were part of a three-way duel over two days and 18 competitive stages totalling 220km around Ballarat.

Bates won the first day by 14.8 seconds, with just 7.9 seconds covering the top three competitors over the two-day event.

Nathan Quinn was second in a Mitsubishi and Eli Evans third in a Peugeot.

Bates' win, with six stage victories, came on the birthday of his father and crew chief, four-times national rally champion Neal Bates.

"It was a full-on contest between the three of us from the first stage, with the overall lead swapping around stage by stage," Harry Bates said.

"The roads were very dusty and the battle was intense with the result in the balance until the very end, which makes it even more rewarding to come out on top and record the win.

"My co-driver John McCarthy and the whole team did a great job; and the win was even better since Sunday was Dad's birthday as well."

Family celebrations were tempered by desperately bad luck for Harry Bates' younger brother Lewis, whose Corolla was destroyed.

"Lewis went off the road at a crest and the car became stuck in soft sand," Harry Bates said. "Then it caught fire and burned to the ground. We're all devastated for him."

The next event on the Australian Rally Championship calendar is the Make Smoking History Forest Rally in Western Australia from April 21 to 23.

Toyota motorsport: In 2017, Toyota marks the 60th anniversary of its first international motorsport entry (and the first by a Japanese car manufacturer), when it contested the 1957 Round Australia Trial. This is why many people consider Australia to be the birthplace of Toyota motorsport. Today, Toyota contests the FIA-sanctioned World Rally Championship (WRC), World Endurance Championship (WEC) which features the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the gruelling Dakar Rally. Closer to home, the Toyota 86 Racing Series seeks to develop the talent of tomorrow as Australia's premier grassroots circuit-racing category.

About TOYOTA GENUINE PARTS
All Toyota Genuine Parts are made to the same exacting standards as Toyota vehicles, and are designed specifically for each model.

This means each part will fit perfectly and meet the high quality standards of your Toyota, with all Toyota Genuine Parts carrying a 12-month Toyota Warranty*.

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* All Toyota Genuine Parts carry a 12-month Toyota Warranty. Conditions apply. The Toyota Genuine Parts Warranty does not limit and may not necessarily exceed your rights under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.


For more information, please contact:

Stephen Coughlan
Product Public Relations Manager
Tel: (02) 9710-3059
Mob: (0434) 442 261
stephen.coughlan@toyota.com.au

Mike Breen
Manager Public Relations
Tel: (02) 9710 3341
Mob: (0418) 447 064
mike.breen@toyota.com.au

Beck Angel
Manager Public Affairs
Tel: (03) 9647 4250
Mob: (0421) 271 279
beck.angel@toyota.com.au




 
IMAGES
Harry Bates (left) and co-driver John McCarthy celebrate victory at the season-opening Eureka Rally.
Harry Bates on his way to becoming the youngest driver to win a round of the Australian Rally Championship.