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Posted: May 26 2012, 02:30 AM
Altezza Club of Australia TRD Parts & Accessories
Member No.: 35
Joined: 10-August 04
BATES AND TAYLOR CHASE QUEENSLAND GLORY
Neal Bates and Coral Taylor are targeting class victory aboard their 1980 Toyota Celica RA40 as they prepare for round three of the 2012 Australian Rally Championship (ARC), which begins on Queensland's sunshine coast tomorrow.
The duo arrived for the International Rally of Queensland earlier this week determined to add to their season-opening Rally Calder class win following a non-finish at Rally Perth.
Four-time ARC champions Bates and Taylor are second in the driver and co-driver standings of the 2012 Australian Classic Rally Challenge, which is run as part of the ARC for pre-1986 rally cars.
Bates said he and Taylor would give it their all while expecting difficult conditions and tough competition from series leaders Jeff David and Grant Geelan in their Porsche 911.
"The hard-packed roads of this rally make it very tough and challenging, especially now they're extra-slippery after the rain last week," Bates said.
"Jeff and Grant are also going really well, but I'm confident about our chances.
"I got back in our car on Wednesday for the pre-event test and it felt absolutely superb, which says a lot about how well the guys have prepared it and got it dialled in to these conditions."
Rally Queensland's two days of competition include Special Stages in the Imbil Forest and coastal roads of Pomona, as well as a Super Special Stage at Caloundra Aerodrome tomorrow night.
The Australian Classic Rally Challenge cars run before the ARC competitors and behind the international competitors of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship on the same roads.
Rally Queensland boasts a bumper field of classic competitors this year, including two other Toyotas: a Corolla KE25 and Celica RA22.
Taylor said she relished the prospect of battling for class honours at what is traditionally a spectacular event.
"We were disappointed to miss out on points in Perth, but Queensland represents an exciting opportunity and we're looking forward to giving it a real shot," she said.
"We're also excited about putting on a show for all the Queensland spectators, particularly at the Super Special."