April 25, 2007 - After five days and 2000 grueling kilometres Rick Bates and the Mazda3 MPS finished 10th outright and took a comfortable class win in the 2007 Targa Tasmania rally.
The Mazda3 MPS, which was co-driven by Anthony McLoughlin, was the top placed standard production or showroom car and it was only outperformed by race specification or rally cars.
"The Mazda3 MPS has been a great car to drive over the last five days," said Bates. "It's powerful so its fast, has good brakes and is very well balanced so it builds your confidence and you need confidence to go fast in any rally."
Mazda Australia motor sport manager, Allan Horsley said: "To get Rick into the top 10 in a standard Mazda3 MPS is a fantastic result. It proves once again that Mazda knows what it takes to make fun, fast cars. And it demonstrates that our cars come with Zoom-Zoom as standard.
Also taking home a class win was Mazda6 MPS driver Melinda Both who, with co-driver Samantha Stevens, finished an impressive 46th outright.
"It feels so good to have the car home in one piece, with the result we achieved," said Melinda. "The car handled magnificently right from day one. For a standard production car to drive so well in a field of rally-bred machines is just incredible."
As Mazda's first all-female crew, Horsley could not be happier with the girls' result.
"Melinda's drive was fantastic. She had very little experience in the Mazda6 MPS so for her to finish in the position she did is just outstanding. A great car always helps and the Mazda6 MPS is just that."
Visit the official Mazda Australia Targa Tasmania Website for full team details, video and picture gallery:
Mazda Targa Video
Mazda Targa Image Gallery
Mazda Targa Web Team Site