Harry Bates has completed the first shakedown of the brand new AP4-spec Toyota Yaris that he is pinning his Australian Rally Championship hopes on.
Bates will switch from the ageing Corolla S2000 package to the brand new turbocharged Yaris for this weekend’s penultimate ARC round in South Australia.
The 224kW car has been built by former Toyota factory-backed squad Neal Bates Motorsport, a shakedown earlier in the week leaving the young driver confident that he can turn his three-point series lead into a maiden ARC title.
“The new Yaris lived up to expectations by performing flawlessly in our first fully fledged shakedown just a week before its competition debut at Rally SA,” Bates said.
“The shakedown confirmed our decision to opt for the Yaris with its combination of small, light car with turbo performance resulting in brisk acceleration, excellent suspension travel and nimble handling.
“It was quick and strong, just as you’d expect from the latest in a long line of rally cars built by dad and his team at Neal Bates Motorsport.”
Bates heads into the penultimate ARC round with a three-point lead over factory-backed Subaru driver Molly Taylor.