Stewart hails latest WAU Academy 'great talent'

Dunlop Series
26 May
Zach Bates became the latest prodigy of the WAU Foundation Academy to win in a Supercar
2 mins by James Pavey, Main Pic by Walkinshaw Andretti United
  • Zach Bates won first Super2 race and round last weekend

  • Bates emulated Ryan Wood with Perth victory

  • Canberran hailed "great talent" by WAU boss Bruce Stewart

Zach Bates became the latest prodigy of the Walkinshaw Andretti United Foundation Academy to win in a Supercar, and the achievement wasn’t lost on team boss Bruce Stewart.

The Canberran, who is part of the decorated Bates family, finally broke through in the Dunlop Series with race and round victory last weekend.

Bates survived a chaotic finale, headlined by the controversial Cameron McLeod/Cooper Murray incident, to seal his first Super2 race win.

The WAU driver was third in the queue when the race was declared, but backdated results saw Max Vidau demoted to second, with Brad Vaughan penalised.

Judicial Vision: McLeod/Murray Perth incident

Bates followed on from WAU Academy graduate and current main game driver Ryan Wood, who swept last year’s Perth Super2 round.

For Stewart, it was Bates’ robust attitude — following a tough Bathurst round, after contact with Murray — that helped the young driver bounce back and deliver.

“How good, how good. Great to see,” Stewart said in the post-race press conference.


“He had a really tough Bathurst 500 round and that hurt his chances, but he's such a good young guy with a great attitude, great talent. It was so good to see him shine.

“Really, really happy for Zach. Great person, great family, and excited to see what he can do the rest of the year."

bates perth 2024 podium

When asked if the WAU Academy was delivering, Stewart cited Wood’s impressive recent form as proof to the pathway.

Wood challenged for the podium in the Perth opener after qualifying a career-best second, before being demoted to fourth by Will Brown and Cam Waters, who were full of praise for the Kiwi rising star.

“Happy to see Woody do so well this weekend as well,” Stewart said.

“He's come through and showed he's got genuine pace and hustled with a few people, even guys up and down this row here [Brown and Waters].”

Bates is now 84 points behind Super2 leader Kai Allen heading to the next round in Townsville in July.

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