The International Rally of Queensland probably didn’t turn out the spectacle that it might have, due to the wet weather, though Toyota had plenty of reason to smile.
The Toyota Genuine Parts entry piloted by Harry Bates and co-driver John McCarthy managed to take the Championship lead after finishing in second place in the rain-shortened ARC event.
With just two rounds to go, Rally SA and Rally Australia in NSW, the Toyota pairing now sit 27 points clear of Subaru’s Simon Evans, with Subaru driver Molly Taylor 35 points off the pace.
Bates said he was glad to come away from the Queensland event at the head of the field.
“We drove a front-wheel drive Corolla in this event last year so I got a feel for the surface, and the all-wheel drive Toyota Genuine Parts Corolla S2000 was a blast to steer here,” he said.
“Day one was basically dry, but day two was diabolically wet; some sections were as slippery as ice.
“But we were able to maintain our dry stage times, which was amazing.”