Zach Bates reflects on ‘intense’ debut at Sydney Motorsport Park
Impressive debutant Zach Bates has reflected on an intense maiden appearance at Sydney Motorsport Park in the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series resulting in third place outright for the round.
In a Ford Mustang owned by his uncle Nicholas and supported by Sullivans, Bates qualified ninth before progressing through the field to finish fifth in Race 1. However, his highlight for the weekend was securing a podium finish under lights in the second encounter to finish third as he concluded his debut round with fourth.
No one was more surprised by the result than Bates as paid credit to the small crew supporting him during the weekend.
“The team did an awesome job, I mean it was my uncle, dad and another guy working on it,” said Bates.
“We had a little bit of an idea on where we were going in set-up and what direction, but we had a very little amount of understanding of experimentation and not too much experience in setting up a car.
“For the team to give me a car possible to race up the pointy end was good.
“I didn’t really expect to pick up any trophies to be honest. I was just there to learn and soak it all up.”
Bates took it in and found the racing a significant step up to what he had experienced previously.
“The racing is very intense, that was probably the biggest thing,” he described. “Putting yourself in a position to pass is probably the biggest thing and just picking your fights.
“I don’t think there is too much that compares. Obviously, Toyota 86 and Formula Ford are rear wild drive, but that’s a bout it to be honest.
“The tyre is so different, the power, the speed and brakes, which is all so distinct, but gave experience in something I haven’t driven before, which was good.
“It’s very different to an 86 or Formula Ford where you have to breathe on the throttle, be very gentle, respect the car because you can’t rag it because the tyres fall away very quickly and there are a lot more things I’ve taken from Sydney Motorsport Park.”
Excited by his debut round, Bates hopes to return in the future although its reliant on getting some extra support.
“I’d love to do some more, but it’s an expensive sport as we all know so it would be awesome to do a few rounds and at the moment we just need some extra budget to try to make that happen,” he said.
“We’ll see what we can do.”