Bates a dominant winner at Rally SA

Neal Bates and Coral Taylor won every stage in the classic competition of Rally SA at the weekend, earning their first championship points for the 2013 season.

The four-time national champions wasted no time in asserting their authority in their return to the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) following last month’s victory in the International Classic Rally of Otago in New Zealand.

They won Saturday’s Heat 1 convincingly and were at times as fast as the outright 2WD ARC contenders.

Bates said he was thrilled by the performance of his 1980 Toyota Celica RA40 on Rally SA’s fast, flowing stages.

“I love this rally – the roads and conditions are always great through the forest, and the car is fantastic to drive there,” Bates said.

“We eased back a touch on Sunday after changing the diff in the morning, but all in all it was an excellent weekend.”

Taylor said the victory had provided a welcome injection of championship points in the race for the Australian Classic Rally Challenge title.

“It’s nice to open our account for the season with such a healthy point score after we didn’t pick up anything in Canberra and skipped Perth,” she said.

“Rally SA was great fun and the roads were really good to drive after the rain settled them down in the days leading up to the start.

“We’re now looking forward to heading up to Queensland to add a few more points to the tally.”

Rally Queensland runs from July 12-14.