Australian Rally Championship title contender Harry Bates is set to switch to an AP4-spec Toyota Yaris for the final two rounds of the 2017 season.
Bates, son of ARC legend Neal Bates, is currently leading the points with a pair of rounds to go thanks to a strong season so far in his tried-and-tested S2000-spec Corolla.
But he won’t he close the season out in the 10-year-old car, with a switch to 300-horsepower Yaris set to take place before the next ARC round in South Australia in September.
The brand new car is currently being built by Neal Bates Motorsport, and features a 1.6-litre turbo engine and a six-speed sequential gearbox.
While expecting the new car to be quicker, Harry Bates isn’t underestimating the challenging of developing and debuting brand new hardware.
"Having a new rally car will be amazing – I expect it to be faster than the current car," he said.
"Even so, I have a steep learning curve with the new car, so I'm not expecting to jump in and be up to speed right off the bat.
"However, by Rally Australia in November, I'd expect to be in a good position to fight for the championship in the new car."
Bates is currently locked in the ARC title battle with factory-backed Subaru driver Molly Taylor, just three points separating the pair.