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Bates recounts dramatic path to first Super2 win

Dunlop Series
22 May
Zach Bates had a busy afternoon en route to his first Dunlop Series race win, which doubled as a round win
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  • Zach Bates closed gap to leader Kai Allen in Perth

  • WAU driver Bates classified as Race 2 winner

  • Bates claimed first race and round win in Super2

Zach Bates had a busy afternoon en route to his first Dunlop Series race win in Perth, which doubled as a maiden round win.

The Walkinshaw Andretti United rising star emerged from the chaos of a race with two red flags to end up victorious at CARCO.com.au Raceway.

Bates was classified the winner after a second red flag period, caused by a frightening rollover for Cameron McLeod.

While delighted to get the monkey off his back, Bates admitted the red flags dampened the feeling.

Frightening rollover for McLeod ends Perth finale

“You're never that stoked to get it like that, it would have been much better to earn it with a full length race,” the 20-year-old said.

"But, most importantly, I hope everyone's alright that was involved in that, which is pretty bad.

“It was obviously a good, good result for us. We had a speedy car, to capitalise and qualify this morning and then be up front in that race was great for us."

Bates started alongside pole-sitter Brad Vaughan, who was penalised over a false start. Bates pushed Vaughan all the way, before Mason Kelly’s Ford caught alight, triggering the first red flag.

"At the start, obviously, Vaughan was creeping, so I was looking at him, unfortunate for him. But, we managed to get across and sit behind in a nice rhythm, and then obviously the red flag came out,” Bates said.

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“There was quite a lot of oil down there, apparently caught out a few people. It's obviously disappointing to not get that many clean laps. “But it’s always good to be standing on the top step."

Kelly fire triggers chaos at Turn 6

It was a big day for the Bates family, with cousin Harry fighting back to win the Forest Rally, also held in Western Australia.

Sandwiched between Eggleston Motorsport duo Kai Allen and Cooper Murray, Bates knows he has work to do if he’s to win this year’s Super2 crown.

Perth was a great start, with Bates closing the gap to Allen from 123 to 78 points heading to the next round in Townsville.

"I've got two speedy guys sitting next to me, so it's always going to be a fight,” Bates said.

“It's obviously great to know that we do have the speed, and obviously coming back here from last year with [Ryan] Woody's success, kind of added a bit of pressure to do well.

"So, it is nice to be standing on the top, but I would have liked to have won it with a bit more merit."

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