Toyota : International Stars Bates And Taylor Set For Sa Assault


Toyota : International Stars Bates And Taylor Set For SA AssaultFour-time national rally champions Neal Bates and Coral Taylor will return to the Australian Rally Championship in South Australia this weekend fresh from their breakthrough victory in the International Classic Rally of Otago.

The duo became the first Australians to win the renowned New Zealand event with a dominant performance aboard their 1980 Toyota Celica RA40 against a bumper field, including two-time world rally champion Miki Biasion.

Bates said he was looking forward to carrying the momentum of international success into Rally SA.

"Winning in New Zealand was fantastic, and we can't wait to resume the battle for the classic series in South Australia against some really good opposition," Bates said.

"The roads are pretty fast and challenging but the Celica was phenomenal there last year, and we're confident about performing really well again."

Bates and Taylor compete in the Australian Classic Rally Challenge, which runs as part of the Australian Rally Championship for pre-1986 rally cars.

The duo ran in the season-opening National Capital Rally and skipped the second round in Perth to enter the Otago rally.

Rally SA begins this Friday night with a mixed surface super special stage in Gawler followed by two days of stages through the state's Barossa, Mount Crawford and Murrayland regions.

Bates and Taylor's RA40 is a fully-restored replica, including livery, of the car the late Ove Andersson and Henry Liddon drove in the World Rally Championship during the early 1980s.

It is powered by a worked Toyota 3SGE Series 1 twin-cam 2.0-litre in-line four cylinder engine driven through the rear wheels via an Australian-made Hollinger five-speed racing gearbox.