Glen Raymond is the first to admit this season was all about learning.  With a new car to come to grips with, there were bound to be some disappointments along the way, but no-one could have predicted the way the year would end, with a well-deserved second outright at Coffs Harbour, and being named as the CAMS Motorsport Personality of the Year.

We asked Glen ten questions about his rally career.......

How would you sum up your year of rallying?

This year has definitely been about learning. We struggled through most of the year trying to find the right set-up to suit my driving, but once we made the correct changes the times instantly came.

What improvements have you achieved throughout the year (both to the car and personally)?

As an ex-factory car there isn’t development work as such, it is more to do with fine tuning the car to suit each individual driver.
On a personal front I am constantly improving my driving, but this year I have increased my ability to technically understand a cars set-up and how to change it to do what you want.

What was your favourite event this year, and why?

The Coffs Coast Rally would rate as my favourite event, not necessarily because of the roads but more so due to it being the first round where I had a car I was comfortable to go flat out in. It was also my best heat result of 2nd Outright which I was obviously very happy with!

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?

My Dad (Roy) has been competing for over 25 years and was the one who introduced me to rallying. My brothers have also always been there to encourage and support me, its hard to find many other people who will work past midnight in a freezing shed to help you get your car ready for the next rally!

In more recent times Neal Bates has been a great encouragement and helped steer me in the right direction.

What has been your best achievement so far in rallying?

Becoming the 2008 CAMS Motor Sport Personality of the year! Despite it not having anything to do with driving, I was flattered to be seen as a motor sport personality, but also as an ambassador reflecting a positive image for the sport. I was really humbled just to be nominated, and I have to say a big thank you to all the people that voted for me and supported me this year.

What’s the hardest thing about rallying?

As a true privateer team the most obvious hurdle is budget constraints, however the biggest thing is probably the disappointment that rallying can bring when things go wrong, especially when they are out of your control.

And the best thing?

Going out in the bush and doing big skids! There is still nothing that beats the feeling flying down a dirt road as fast as you can.

Do you have any funny stories from this year’s events that you can share with us?

I think the thing that makes me laugh the most is taking people for a ride on media day. Having someone that has never experienced the thrill of rallying laughing their head off whilst going sideways, its hard not to join in. I still haven’t worked out if they are enjoying it or are just plain scared!
Another story was when I accidentally put Matt’s (Glen’s Navigator) expensive co-drivers watch through the washing machine the night before a rally, I’ve never seen him so impressed!

What are your plans for next year?

We will be doing the Australian Rally Championship again in the Toyota Corolla Group N (P). With the extra round next year the budget has obviously been tightened, but we are currently on the lookout for sponsorship so we can do the whole series and have a red hot go.

How about your plans for 2010 and beyond?

As for any plans it really is in the open, but I’m aiming for a stellar 2009 season so I can put myself in the best possible position for any opportunities in 2010 and onwards.

Photos: Toyota Australia, Redline Photographics

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