Bates unfazed by lack of qualifying pace

Dunlop Series
06 Jul
Super2 title contender starts from P8 this afternoon after topping opening practice
2 mins by Zac Dowdell
  • Zach Bates struggled to find qualifying pace on second run

  • WAU driver entered weekend P3 in points, 80 points behind Kai Allen

  • P2 in points Aaron Cameron starts P9, Allen P13 in mixed-up grid

Walkinshaw Andretti United driver Zach Bates is ready to put a tough qualifying session behind him in the first race of the Dunlop Series this afternoon.

Bates won his maiden Super2 race and round last time out in Perth, crushing the deficit to points leader Kai Allen by 64 points on Sunday.

The WAU driver carried that momentum into Townsville, topping the opening practice session of the weekend on Friday, and was one of the more fancied runners for Boost Mobile Qualifying this morning.

However, after going second in the opening runs, the Canberran could not find the improvements he needed on his final run, and will lineup on the outside of row four.

Despite his lowest starting position of the season, Bates will still start ahead of title combatants Aaron Cameron and Allen, who also struggled during qualifying.

JM1 7443

“The goal is always to try and move forward, but the grid is a little bit jumbled,” Bates told Supercars.com.

"I think we're just going to have to see how the race pans out and pick our fights and battles, and see where we end up.


"It's a long race, I think we've got a decent package under us, so we just have to be patient and hopefully it goes our way.”

A lack of patience has already cost Bates valuable ground this season, with a podium in the second race at Bathurst going begging after contact with Cooper Murray saw him penalised.

With 80 points covering Allen, Cameron, and Bates at the top of the Super2 points standings, the WAU driver knows the importance of maximising the remaining races this season.

“Perth was good but it's race by race now,” he said.

“Obviously it's good to get it done, but it'd be nice to try and repeat it."

Although the pace he has shown throughout 2024 went missing in qualifying, Bates is still confident that the WAU race package will see him up towards the pointy end of the field at the end of the race.

"I’m actually really happy with the race car, obviously from the qualifying to the race car, it's just a little more dumbed down,” he said.

“We’ve had a good package all weekend, a strong day yesterday, so needless to say I'm looking forward to it.”

Jack Perkins will start from pole position this afternoon for Blanchard Racing Team, with Race 1 starting at 1:15pm on the streets of Townsville.

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