Steane Klose | Nov 17, 2008

TRD Team boss Neal Bates has claimed a record fourth ARC Drivers' title while Toyota took the Manufacturers' title at the season-ending Coffs Coast Rally held over the weekend. The win is the ninth domestic title for Toyota while Bates becomes just the third person in history to win four or more ARC Driver's crowns.

Needing only a handful of points to secure the title, Bates cruised to victory and came in seventh during both heats. Fellow team-mate Simon Evans took out the first heat, only to encounter transmission problems which eventually relegated him to fourth outright.

Bates, who has claimed 32 outright victories in ARC during his career of over twenty years, was pleased with his efforts.

"Obviously I am incredibly happy to win a fourth title. I think it will take a while for what we have achieved to actually sink in, as this weekend was very difficult. Overall, it is a big achievement to win another Manufacturers' title and for Coral and I to win again 13 years since our last one," he said.

Bates is no stranger to success, having also made 14 appearances in the World Rally Championship and finishing third in the 1997 International Race of Champions. Since winning his first ARC title in 1993, TRD boss Bates has also recorded outright victory in Targa Tasmania, six Bathurst 12-hour class wins and has sat on pole at the Bathurst 1000.

Toyota_Rally_bates

Two-time former champion Evans was optimistic despite the bad-luck encountered on this and a number of other events during the season.

"The S2000 Corolla was just awesome and has so much potential that we are just starting to unlock - this year is just the tip of the iceberg. But we do need to work hard in the off-season because our goal this year was 1-2 in the championship and we didn't quite get there."

Team TRD Rally now takes a break until the 2009 ARC season begins earlier than usual with the Burnie-based, all-tarmac Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge, scheduled for 14-15 February.

Official results for the event were as follows.

Australian Rally Championship

Coffs Coast Rally

Heat 1 - Final Results:

1) Simon Evans - Toyota Corolla S2000 1h05m07.4s

2) Guy Wilks - Honda Civic Type-R +30.1s

3) Eli Evans - Subaru Impreza WRX +40.1

4) Nathan Quinn - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO +1:21.4

5) Michael Boaden - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO +1:39.9

6) Michael Guest - Subaru Impreza WRX +2:19.5

7) Neal Bates - Toyota Corolla S2000 +2:53.4

12) Glen Raymond - Toyota Corolla Group N (P) +5:10.1

Australian Rally Championship

Coffs Coast Rally

Heat 2 - Final Results:

1) Eli Evans - Subaru Impreza WRX 47m12.2s

2) Glen Raymond - Toyota Corolla Group N (P) +23.9s

3) Nathan Quinn - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO +1:17.3

4) Ryan Smart - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO +1:32.7

5) Spencer Lowndes - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO +1:49.1

7) Neal Bates - Toyota Corolla S2000 +4:21.7

10) Paul Gover - Toyota Corolla Group N (P) +4:22.8

16) Simon Evans - Toyota Corolla S2000 +1:05:02.9

Australian Rally Championship

Coffs Coast Rally

Outright Results:

1) Eli Evans - Subaru Impreza WRX

2) Nathan Quinn - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO

3) Glen Raymond - Toyota Corolla Group N (P)

4) Simon Evans - Toyota Corolla S2000

5) Spencer Lowndes - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO

6) Neal Bates - Toyota Corolla S2000

Australian Rally Championship

Coffs Coast Rally

Final Championship Standings:

1) Neal Bates - Toyota Corolla S2000 - 445 points

2) Eli Evans - Subaru Impreza WRX - 337

3) Simon Evans - Toyota Corolla S2000 - 320

4) Spencer Lowndes - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO - 284

5) Glen Raymond - Toyota Corolla Group N (P) - 246

6) Michael Guest - Subaru Impreza WRX - 194

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