STRONG START FOR SUBARU DO IN SA

The Subaru do Motorsport team has made a strong start over the first fours stages of Heat One of Lightforce Rally Australia this afternoon, seizing overall second place following a mechanical mishap for CAMS Australian Rally Championship leader Harry Bates.

Molly Taylor and Bill Hayes, in the Production Rally Car (PRC) class All-Wheel Drive WRX STI, were consistently second to Nathan Quinn’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX over the quartet of stages.

Just 23.8 seconds separate Taylor and Quinn at late afternoon service.

Early expectations of a strong start for the new Toyota Yaris AP4 of Harry Bates did not materialise, with the car returning to the service park, having failed to make the start of the first stage.

With Taylor and Hayes just three points off the Championship lead and their main rival off the scene for the day, the Toyota’s failure could represent a pivotal point in the season for Subaru do.

Four night stages will determine Heat One’s outcome, but Taylor said: “Harry’s misfortune has presented an opportunity for us and we’re focused on capitalizing on that across the evening.

“The night stages are a whole different challenge, but with our light pod earning its keep, we’re pleased with where we are.”

Sunday’s Heat Two is entirely daylight, covering a further six stages.

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