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Class 1-2 for Mazda in Targa Prologue

April 16th, 2008


Mazda has made a promising start to this year’s Targa Tasmania. The twin Mazda3 MPS hot hatches secured first and second position in the 2WD Showroom Competition in today’s Prologue.

Resident Mazda driver Rick Bates was the fastest in the event’s 2WD production car competition, posting a time of 3min 32secs around the 5km town stage. His team mate Alister McRae ran a close second only five seconds adrift.

While the shining sun and high ambient temperatures didn’t play to the Mazda3 MPS turbocharged strength, both of Mazda’s star drivers were happy with their performance.

“Targa’s the kind of event that’s very easy to jump back into,” said Bates. “Today’s Prologue was a good opportunity for us to reacquaint with the Mazda3 MPS and get back into the groove.

“The car went well, and it was great for Mazda that Alister is right behind us especially since it’s his first Targa.”

Rick’s team mate and British Rally Champion, Alister McRae, was stoked with his first competitive run.

“The Prologue was very good. It’s great to be back behind the wheel of a real rally car. Obviously it’s just a very short stage in a very long rally, but the car felt great and the tyres are fine so we’re all happy.”

Mazda Motorsport Team Manager Allan Horsley was happy with his team’s performance today.

“Everything went perfect today, and we are exactly where we want to be. That said, I told the guys to take it easy in order to preserve their cars and tyres. After all, the real competition starts tomorrow.”

Wednesday is the event’s first competitive day, which is made up of nine stages over 61 competitive kilometres. The Targa competition field will start and finish in Launceston.

At the time this release was published, results were still being finalised. It appears Rick Bates has won bragging rights over his twin brother Neal – by mere tenths of a second. Neal Bates is driving a fully-modified Toyota TRD Aurion and is competing in the outright Modern Competition.

To read all the latest news, download hi-res media images and watch video highlights from today’s racing visit www.mazda.com.au/targa

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