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Bates wins Perth round in race marred by wild McLeod roll

Dunlop Series
19 May
WAU star gets maiden Dunlop Series race and round wins after dramatic Race 2 featured two red flags
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  • Zach Bates claims race and round in wild Perth finale

  • First red flag came after Mason Kelly’s engine detonated

  • Second red flag after Cameron McLeod has frightening roll

Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Zach Bates has claimed his maiden race win in the Dunlop Series after a crazy Race 2 in Perth.

Bates, who finished third yesterday, also claimed his maiden round win to re-emerge as a serious title contender in Super2 this season.

The young Canberran claimed the spoils after the results were backdated a lap after Cameron McLeod had a horrifying accident on the run to turn seven after a late restart.

"Yeah, obviously it's not the way you want to do it, but I hope everyone's all right that's involved,” Bates said.

"But yeah, I'm super psyched to get the win. That was just absolute chaos. It's been too long. Should have happened a while ago, but I'm so stoked to get it done.

“It's good to come back and be fast like [Ryan] Woody was last year. I can't credit the team enough for their performance."

Frightening rollover for McLeod ends Perth finale

After Mason Kelly’s Mustang expired and brought out the red flags, the race was restarted with four minutes to go, McLeod fighting for a maiden podium having run fourth all race.

McLeod got a bad exit out of turn six, allowing Cooper Murray to get a slight overlap in his Eggleston Motorsport Commodore ZB.

McLeod tried to close the gap, however misjudged how close Murray was, turning the RM Racing Cars with PremiAir Racing Commodore ZB over the crest of the hill.

McLeod’s car dug into the grass just prior to where the short circuit joins the full circuit, pitching him into two rolls and a pirouette before landing on all fours.

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The Queenslander emerged unscathed, though the Commodore was heavily damaged in the accident, which ultimately curtailed the race.

Race start: Vaughan penalised for jumping the start

That brought out an unprecedented second red flag of the day, after Mason Kelly had a spectacular engine failure on lap ten that required a lengthy clean up.

Kelly Racing teammate Aaron Cameron was the first on the scene and dived to the inside to avoid the oil trail, however several cars further behind weren’t as fortunate.

Lochie Dalton, Elliott Cleary, Reuben Goodall, Campbell Logan, and Jarrod Hughes all went sailing through the gravel after they hit the oil, however they all got out the other side.

Kelly managed to find a marshall’s post to stop at, however the car was well alight by the time fire personnel arrived, though the Melburnian emerged unharmed.

Brad Vaughan was the first car across the line, however a five second penalty cruelled the polesitter in what was otherwise a lights to flag performance.

Vaughan crept off pole position, ending up with about half of his Tickford Mustang out of the grid box when the lights went out.

Kelly fire triggers chaos at Turn 6

Vaughan would only drop to fourth as a result of the late race carnage, with Max Vidau claiming his maiden podium in second for Anderson Motorsport.

In third, remarkably, was Cameron McLeod, who was running in what was an effective third place at the time at which the results were backdated to.

Kai Allen salvaged a ninth place finish after his tough run to 13th in qualifying, whilst Aaron Cameron finished fifth to maintain his second place in the standings.

In Super3, Cody Burcher made it four wins in as many starts for the season, avoiding all of the carnage ahead of him to record a solid 11th outright in his MW Motorsport Nissan.

Round 3 of the 2024 Dunlop Series takes place from July 5-7 at the NTI Townsville 500.

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