Redemption on cards

Pierra WillixBusselton Dunsborough Times

After just missing out on a win in last year’s Forest Rally, driver Harry Bates is hoping 2018 will be the year he takes out a win in the second round of the CAMS Australian Rally Championships.

Bates will be hoping it is third time lucky to take out a win in the stage after being edged out last year by former Australian Rally champion Molly Taylor who took first place.

“It was a really tight battle last time so certainly this year I want to get a bit of redemption,” he said.

While Bates will be facing stiff competition from the likes of Taylor, Eli Evans and Steve Glenney, he is hoping to claim bragging rights over younger brother Lewis, who will also be competing.

The Bates brothers’ success as rally car drivers was perhaps inevitable given their father is four-time Australian champion Neal Bates.

After making his debut in 2013, Harry Bates has gone from strength to strength and just a few weeks ago claimed the opening ARC round at the Courier Eureka Rally in Ballarat on March 3 and 4.

Bates and co-driver John McCarthy gave their new Toyota Yaris AP4 its maiden CAMS Australian Rally Championship win, claiming 11 of 15 stages.

Although he has competed in the Forest Rally twice before, Bates said many drivers found competing in Busselton and Nannup particularly challenging.

“WA is very unique in that it has ball-bearing roads which makes them slippery and wet; that is always the biggest challenge to overcome,” he said.

“However I really love competing there and enjoy the competition; it is a challenging environment that I like.”

The Make Smoking History Forest Rally will rumble through the region from April 27-29.

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