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Canberra's Zach Bates is venturing well outside his comfort zone in a heavy, thundering V8 Mustang

From Article by Peter Brewer - Canberra Times - May 2022

The motor racing world is littered with the fallen careers of unbridled young racers who never ran out of talent but simply ran out of money.

Canberra's Zach Bates is trying very hard not to be one of them.

A former kart racing star, a winner of record nine rounds of the Toyota 86 one-make series last year, in which all cars are identical, and the current NSW titleholder in the open-wheel Formula Ford category, the 18-year-old ACT college student is on the cusp of his dream of racing professionally if all the cards fall the right way.

....So this weekend he is venturing far outside his comfort zone, racing a hulking V8-powered Mustang in the Trans-Am series at Sydney's Eastern Creek.

...The Trans Am rookie is racing against others, many of them part-timers, who have been in the category for years, as well as a bunch of other young drivers endeavouring to clamber up the greasy pole of becoming a fulltime racer.

One advantage is that he knows the Eastern Creek track very well; he has won there before in other categories.

But nonetheless, finger-tipping the heavy Mustang into the long turn one at 250km/h in top gear will be a unique experience.

"I'm trying to soak up as much information as I can from people who have done this before and I'm lucky to have people around me like Dad [experienced racer and advanced driver trainer Rick Bates] who have been here before," he said.

"But in the end, it's all down to me and getting it right."

Zach Bates suits up, ready for the next challenge. Picture: Jack Martin

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