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It’s one thing in rallying to possess ability, but you need an equal dose of enthusiasm and persistence as well, not to mention a budget that allows you to indulge in your rallying pleasure.

Glen Raymond, who at age 21, has already made a name for himself in State Championship events and plans even greater things this year, started rally driving like so many other young hopefuls – in the navigator’s seat. Glen’s father, Roy Raymond, had been competing since the 1970s and it was only a matter of time before the rally bug bit young Glen.

His first rally experience came from the navigator’s seat at age 13, but this was purely a one-off taste of rallying before he became more heavily involved in motorsport by servicing  at rallies and doing the odd dirt-surface autocross until he was old enough to get his full licence.

In 2003 he started to get serious, climbing aboard the family 1300cc Corolla, with results starting to come his way. With brother, Matt, 31, beside him, and in only his second event, Glen Raymond was leading a round of the Victorian Club Rally Series outright until mechanical problems with the car intervened. Determined to do better, his third event netted he and Matt a third outright placing, first 2WD, and first novice. By now his aggressive driving style was becoming a favourite with the spectators and the precedent was set for an exciting career.

Many more giant-killing results followed, which included being named 2004 Junior Cup Champion and winning the 2WD award in a State Championship round.

The 2005 NGK Rally of Melbourne saw the pairing contest their first Australian Rally Championship round, starting from car 46, the crew took 13th outright and third in the State Championship component at the wheel of a Subaru Legacy which he debuted for the event. Considering that it was his first competitive drive in a 4WD car, albeit using pump fuel in a worn out engine sourced from a wreckers, the result was far better than expected.

But as all rally people know, success is not a given and despite finishing 2005 on a positive note, 2006 was a much more challenging year. Despite running inside the top ten of every ARC round he contested, gremlins were to plague him constantly.

Suspension problems caused a light roll in WA and an overheating problem continued in the Queensland round. Tasmania saw a seventh-placed finish in the first heat, despite a flat tyre, but a broken driveshaft ruined Heat 2’s result. DNF’s reared their heads in South Australia – a broken gearstick and a faulty computer the cause of non-finishes in both heats.

The final round, the Rally of Melbourne, saw the team running sixth outright until a cam seal popped out, dumping the engine oil. Heat 2 restored their faith, though, the end result being seventh outright in the ARC component and first outright in the Victorian Championship. Aggressive driving and a good rapport with the co-driver, plus an efficient service crew, combined to end a difficult season with a pleasing result.

The team’s much-rallied Subaru Legacy will be retired this year in favour of a recently-purchased Subaru Impreza WRX purchased from Queensland’s Glen Brinkman, who won the Queensland Championship. Work has already started on preparing the car for this year’s ARC, developing it to become a faster and safer  rally car.

Weighing in 100kg lighter, with a 6-speed gearbox and an electronic centre differential, it will make a huge difference from the performance of  the faithful Legacy that has served the crew so well.

There’s no doubt that the Raymond team – Glen, Matt, brother Stephen and their father, Roy, have the determination and skill to run with the top privateer crews this season. Glen’s exciting driving style, Matt’s skill on the notes and a good back-up team will ensure that good results come their way this year. They will certainly be well worth watching as each round unfolds.

RallySport Magazine asked Glen a couple of quick questions about his career to date, and his future aims.

What one event encouraged you to get started in rallying?
It was the 2003 Spring 200 rally. It was only my second event after the car broke 15 kilometres into my first rally some months previously. I was leading a round of the Victorian Clubman Rally Series outright and I’d passed five cars in the first stage before the car broke. I was determined to do better in the future.

What are your plans for 2007?
Contest all rounds of the ARC in our new WRX.

Tell us a bit about the car:
The car is the ex-Queensland Championship-winning Subaru WRX that Glen Brinkman used in the QRC. Even though it’s not a new car, it is a step in the right direction and will mean our program will be sustainable and allow us to take another step towards a new car for 2008.

What is your aim?
We have a plan for the future to gain the speed needed to hopefully one day achieve the dream of winning the Australian Rally Championship.

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