Canberra driver Harry Bates capitalised on a strong first day to take out the Eureka Rally in Ballarat on Sunday and with it the lead in the Australia Rally Championship.
In a day of high drama for his family in heat one on Saturday, Harry Bates and co-driver John McCarthy Bates held off Nathan Quinn after 120km on roads east of Ballarat.
While Bates, who is a son of four-time national champion Neale, was able celebrate it was a different story for younger brother Lewis as he had to watch his car get burnt out.
Heat from the exhaust ignited undergrowth after the car became stuck on a gravel bank, with fire engulfing the vehicle.
While Bates could not do better than third in his Toyota Corolla S2000 in Sunday’s heat, a third was enough to give him the overall honours in the 220km rally – the ARC’s first time back in Ballarat in more than 40 years.
Heat two went to Eli Evans and Glen Weston, with Quinn again filling second.
Ballarat’s Aaron Windus had a fine rally on home territory with a third and fifth to take fourth overall.
Reigning ARC champion Molly Taylor had a mixed bag with seventh and fourth to sit sixth overall.