Very rarely in the past four years has national rally champion Harry Bates gone into a motorsport event aspiring to less than a podium finish.
But as a guest driver coming up against his cousin Zach Bates, nine years his junior, in the Toyota Gazoo 86 production car series at Bathurst this weekend, that's how he realistically rates his chances.
"Zach is in such red hot form at the moment and there's so many other guys who are really quick in this series, if I can get even close to them I will be very pleased," Bates said.
In any form of motor racing, beating your teammate is always the performance yardstick and Harry Bates has his work cut out this weekend as sharing the garage with him in the 86 series is former five-times Bathurst V8 Supercar winner Steve Richards.
"I couldn't have picked a tougher weekend, could I?" Bates joked.
But it's his young cousin who everyone will be watching with interest, including some of the big-name V8 teams.
At just 17 years old and now entering year 12 at Canberra Grammar School, Zach Bates has five wins from five starts in his rookie season in the 86 series after consistently outperforming all his young rivals already being groomed for a future V8 Supercar drive.
"I've been watching Zach's in-car footage closely and his driving is just so quick and smooth," Harry Bates said.
"I've done a bit of tarmac racing but Mt Panorama is such a tough place to get right because with all the cars being identical in performance, it comes down to ensuring you get every braking point right and maximising every single corner.
"There are 23 turns and you've got to nail every one for a fast time.
"I know there will be places where I will be struggling so I will certainly be asking Zach for some advice on those parts of the track where I need to get quicker."
Intermittent rain showers are forecast into the weekend for Mt Panorama which throws another interesting ingredient into the mix.
After this weekend on the Bathurst tarmac, Harry Bates will head down to Bombala, on the NSW South Coast, for the rescheduled final round of the Australian Rally Championship on December 11 and 12.
None of the national contenders have driven the fast Monaro Stages roads before and with three wins from three starts this season, Bates and co-driver John McCarthy only need to finish well - and beat Harry's brother, Lewis, running second in the series - to grab the title again.
"Obviously I've got a lot to focus on this weekend but after we leave here [at Bathurst], we will then start to prepare for the Monaro Stages," he said.
"Getting the pacenotes right will be absolutely critical for that event so we have all day Friday to get that right before the weekend's competition."
Two practice sessions will be held Wednesday for the 86 racers, with qualifying on Thursday and races on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
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