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Bates & Taylor need to be on top of their game for Sprint Auto Parts Rally SA

Toyota Racing Development's Neal Bates and Coral Taylor will need to stay at the top of their game if they are to walk away from the upcoming Sprint Auto Parts Rally South Australia with their fourth Australian Rally Championship round victory of the year after the entry list for the event was released this week.

55 crews make up the field which consists of ARC, South Australian Rally Championship, Classic and Clubman competitions, held in the Barossa Valley from July 25-27.

Having taken top spot on the podium for the first three events of 2008, Bates and Taylor head into the event in a similar situation to the one TRD team mates Simon and Sue Evans saw themselves in coming into the 2007 event, sitting atop the points standings and in everyone else's sights.

"We've started the season really well, but being only half way through the season it's definitely not in the bag yet" said Bates. "While there is a bit of a buffer between us and second place
in the Championship, we can't afford to get comfortable just yet and must focus on each rally as it comes before we can think about taking the out the title".

After Simon and Sue Evans' coates Rally Queensland came to an abrupt end after a high-speed off during Special Stage Seven, and the two-time defending ARC Champion is fit again and keen to atone around the Mount Crawford region. "Sue is feeling much better and my toe is fine, so the two of us are extremely keen to get back in the car and have a real crack in South Australia" said Simon Evans.

Although the pair now sits in fifth place in the Championship, 107 points behind Bates and Taylor, Evans knows he still has a job to do for the remainder of the 2008 season. "While chasing down Neal to win the Championship is unlikely, I've still got a job to do to ensure
Toyota finish first and second in the Championship come season's end" said Evans.

Currently sitting 63 points behind Bates in second place, 25 year old Eli Evans and co-driver Chris Murphy are looking to continue their great run of late with another podium in South Australia. "After breaking through for our first ever ARC heat win up at Queensland, there's no reason for us to believe we can't aim for a podium finish at every event from now on" said Evans.

The roads around Mount Crawford might be the perfect setting for Evans to take the next step in his journey; claiming a round win. "There are a lot of high speed sections throughout Rally SA
where we'll get the car up around the 200kph mark" said Evans.

"With some wide roads, it's a rally where drivers can have a lot of fun, being able to throw the cars into every corner and be a little more flamboyant than usual".

Spectators will be able to catch their first glimpse the Sprint Auto Parts Rally SA when the Ceremonial Start kicks the event off from 6.30pm on Friday 25th July, followed by the Super Special Stage around the Angaston Oval complex.

The Super Special Stage will also run the following night (Saturday 26th), with crews completing two separate runs of the circuit each night. For those unable to make it to Angaston Oval, the action will be captured by four cameras around the complex and streamed live on, in what is a first for an Australian Rally Championship event.