Neal Bates wins QLD round of Australian Classic Rally Challenge

Rally champ Neal Bates and Coral Taylor have taken out the Australian Classic Rally Challenge of the International Rally of Queensland in their retro Toyota Celica RA40.

Bates, a four-time national rally winner, dominated 17 of 18 stages during the two-day sunshine coast event.

The rally wasn’t without incident for Bates, spinning the RA40 Celica during stage 13. Luckily the car didn’t collide with anything. Bates said he confused the cornering technique of his RA40 with the late model rally S2000 Corolla he’d previously steered.

“I pulled on the handbrake and depressed the clutch as I was supposed to and spun and stalled”.

Bates and Taylor are now in serious contention for the Australian Classic Rally Challenge title – they trail closely behind Australian Classic Rally Challenge series leaders Jeff David and Grant Geelan in their Porsche 911.

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Geelan and David placed fifth in the QLD round, and were the only other team to win a stage.

The next round of the Australian Classic Rally Challenge series will be held in Adelaide late July.

Josh is one of the original co-founders of PerformanceDrive. His expertise is car culture and aftermarket performance. He was the editor at Hot4s Magazine, and has since worked at Fast Fours, Zoom, and as a journalist at The Project Group.