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Bates bounces back to claim maiden pole

Dunlop Series
07 Jul
WAU ace bounces back from disastrous Saturday to claim first career pole in an intense qualifying session
3 mins by Zac Dowdell
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  • Zach Bates claims first Super2 pole after repairs

  • Series leader Kai Allen to line up on the front row

  • Second in points Aaron Cameron only 16th

Zach Bates has claimed his maiden Dunlop Series pole position in Boost Mobile Qualifying for Race 2 in Townsville.

Bates rose to the challenge set to him by series leader Kai Allen to set a 1:14.4671s in the dying minutes of the session, one of the final flying laps of the 20 minutes.

The breakthrough comes at a critical point in Bates’ Super2 title challenge, after getting involved in the lap one melee and finishing 19th yesterday, dropping to 153 points behind Allen.

“So stoked, it's a great way to bounce back,” Bates said.

“Obviously getting caught up in that incident there, is obviously just not the way we would have liked to have done that.

“The car, the team, just a full credit to them, to be able to fix the thing and then go out there and have no dramas or anything, it's a real testament to what they do here.

“This team, the amount they do for me and the amount they're willing to help Chaz and Woody, I'm stoked. I couldn’t have asked for a better result.”

After late night rebuilds for several teams in the paddock, 24 cars rolled onto the Townsville Street Circuit for qualifying, with Dean Fiore out for the weekend after his hefty crash at turn two yesterday.

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Cooper Murray’s nightmare start to 2024 looked set to continue as he came to pit lane straight from his out lap reporting a long brake pedal following a late rebuild of his Eggleston Commodore.

The Eggleston crew would get a chance to check the car under red flag conditions when Elliott Cleary went straight on at turn three and got stuck in the escape road.

The extra minutes would be a blessing for Murray, as the issue was remedied and he was able to do his green tyre run without any problems with the car.

Allen was the fastest in the first runs prior to the red flag on a 1:15.2426s, with Bates and Race 1 winner Jack Perkins not far behind.

On the green tyre runs it was Image Racing’s Jarrod Hughes who looked to be the one to beat initially, setting a 1:14.6065s as several drivers would go within a tenth of a second.

Allen would pip Hughes after finally stringing a lap together with a 1:14.5761s, before Bates put it all on the line when it mattered most to claim pole position.

Aaron Cameron would have a disastrous qualifying session, with the Kelly Racing driver only managing 16th, leaving him with a tough task this afternoon if he wants to stay in touch with Allen in the points standings.

Hughes would end up and excellent third, ahead of Brad Vaughan in his rebuilt Tickford Mustang, with Campbell Logan making it two WAU Commodores in the top five.

The top ten was rounded out by Perkins, Jordyn Sinni, Murray, Max Vidau, and Rylan Gray, with Super3 pole going to Cody Burcher in 18th outright on a 1:14.8123s.

Race 2 for the Dunlop Series will begin at 1:15pm AEST on the streets of Townsville.

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