Bates locked in for Trans Am debut

The Turtle Wax Trans Am Series will welcome a famous motorsport family name to its ranks this weekend as the category forms part of a bumper Shannons Motorsport Australia Championship event at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Zach Bates, the nephew of three-time Australian Rally Championship-winning Neal Bates and the cousin to current Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia factory drivers, Harry and Lewis, will make his series debut in a Ford Mustang.

While he does come from a famous family, Bates himself boasts an impressive racing record, having produced a dominant performance in the Toyota Gazoo Racing 86 Series last year.

During the 2021 season, Bates claimed nine race wins and 10 podiums. He has already added a further two in this year’s campaign.

With the support of Sullivans and MBSFM, Bates will be one of 27 entries to contest the round and he was looking forward to it.

“I’ve participated in a couple of test days at Wakefield Park and completed one at Sydney Motorsport Park, so I haven’t done a lot in it,” Bates said.

“That’s the aim to gain some experience and I honestly don’t know where I’ll be sitting in the field, but I hope not to be going too badly.

“Tim (Brook) is one of those and he’s pretty quick though has been there for a while, as has Nathan (Herne) so I can’t expect myself to be matching those guys on debut as those guys know the ins and outs of Trans Am.

“The Trans Am is just so different to what I’ve driven and anything in Australia.

“He’s (father Rick) always giving me advice, it never ends. He’s definitely a big helper for me and I’m very fortunate to grow up in a family where there is such a high pedigree around me, so I can just bounce off all their ideas.”

The Turtle Wax Trans Am Series will be one of many categories on show throughout the weekend. Click here to view a full schedule.

Fans can tune in via StanSport across both Saturday and Sunday, or watch the free-to-air coverage on 9GEM will be shown between 5:30-7:30pm on Saturday evening.

Those wishing to attend the event in person can still purchase tickets through www.motorsporttickets.com.au – with all tickets including access to the pit paddock and grid walks prior to some races over Saturday and Sunday.

The Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships takes place at Sydney Motorsport Park on 27-29 May.