Pedders Backs Harry Bates for WRC debut at Rally New Zealand

Pedders Suspension & Brakes is proud to announce its support for Harry Bates’ WRC debut at Rally New Zealand

Current Australian Rally Champion Harry Bates will go head-to-head with the world’s best rally drivers next month, with the young star making his international FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) debut at the returning Repco Rally New Zealand.

Courtesy of a new partnership with Australian family-owned company Pedders Suspension & Brakes, Bates will head across the Tasman Sea to compete in the ultra-competitive WRC2 category, the biggest opportunity of his career to date.

In what will also be Bates’ first ever rally outside of Australia, he will have a familiar voice calling the notes, with co-driver John McCarthy to sit beside him.

While it will be a familiar driving partnership taking on the picturesque roads of Auckland, Bates and McCarthy will not compete in their regular Toyota GR Yaris AP4, instead getting behind the wheel of a Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo.

Although representing Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia in the Australian Rally Championship (ARC), Toyota do not produce an eligible WRC2 car, freeing the reigning champion to look at other options.

For the 17-stage rally, the car will be donned with the well-known Pedders colours, and Bates was grateful to the company for helping him attain his dream move of competing in the WRC.

“As a driver, you’re always looking for the next opportunity, so for this to be happening is truly a dream come true and I can’t thank Pedders enough for helping me achieve this,” Bates said.

“I’m a competitor and I love a battle, so to me it is super exciting to be up against talented WRC regulars and the likes of highly respected Kiwis such Hayden Paddon, Shane van Gisbergen and Ben Hunt in their home rally – John and I can’t wait to test ourselves against some of the best.


“It’s been months of hard work for our small team to get to this point, and I am so fortunate and humbled to have the help and support from people in Australia as well as overseas.

“I still can’t quite believe Pedders is trusting me with this huge opportunity, but I feel so ready to be making my WRC2 debut and I am really grateful to Scott and Mark Pedder, and the entire Pedders team, for seeing something in me.

“They have been the driving force behind the Rally New Zealand program we have pulled together, and I hope to do them proud.

“I must also thank Toyota Australia for allowing me to take this opportunity.

Scott Pedder, Managing Director of Pedders, said: “Pedders is a proud supporter of Australian motor racing and rallying is part of our family’s and brand’s DNA. We’re thrilled to support Harry as he represents Australia on the international stage at Rally New Zealand and we can’t wait to see him go to battle in Pedders colours.”

Before he heads to New Zealand next month, Bates will first contest the next round of the ARC, the Middle of Everywhere Gippsland Rally, at the end of August in the hopes of extending his unbeaten national run to 12 consecutive round wins.

The FIA World Rally Championship’s Rally New Zealand will take place in Auckland from 29 September to 2 October.

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