Another podium finish for Raymond brothers
- 13th March 2009, 1:08pm
The podium finishes that once seemed something of a pipe dream for Glen and Matt Raymond are now looking to become a regular occurrence for the Victorian brothers, who currently sit third in the 2009 Australian Rally Championship standings following round two of the national series.
Last weekâ€™s Rally of Canberra saw the pair once again steer their Raymond Partners Accountants Toyota Corolla to the pointy end of the field, taking third place overall for the event.
After being severely hampered with a bad case of bronchitis during Februaryâ€™s season-opening Rally Tasmania, Glen Raymond again had to overcome major disruptions prior to last weekâ€™s rally. However this time the problems were of a more mechanical nature.
"We blew a head gasket in midweek testing" said Raymond. "A lot of thanks have to go to my brother Steve for his work getting the car ready for the weekend. Being a privateer team means we rely pretty heavily on him at times".
While the repairs allowed the Warragul-based team to come home in third place for Saturdayâ€™s Heat One, the problems didnâ€™t end there.
"We blew two intercooler hoses (which run between the turbo and engine) on Saturday after too much boost was being produced due to the boost controller tube failing," said a frustrated Raymond. "The car lost nearly all of its power, which resulted us in losing 90 seconds to the leaders."
"It was like â€˜bush mechanicsâ€™ out there. We were only 2.9 seconds ahead of Dowel going into the last 3.5km stage, so we used race tape and a hose clamp to try and hold the hose together," he added.
Albeit with only three quarters of turbo boost available and no anti-lag, which increases throttle response, the Raymondâ€™s pushed their Corolla to an amazing second-fastest time, 0.1 seconds behind current ARC Champion Neal Bates, but more importantly cemented their third place for Heat One.
"There were definitely some hairy moments during that tight and twisting last stage; I think Matt was a little pale as we flew along the top of the ridge," Raymond joked.
Sundayâ€™s Heat Two did not go to plan either, the team once again faced with more mechanical gremlins.
"We lost over a minute and half to the leaders on Sunday during SS8 after suffering a broken drive shaft, leaving the car in three wheel drive. Luckily the service guys fixed it shortly after in service," said Raymond.
"That left us 30 seconds behind Justin Dowel, meaning that we had to recover at least 18 of those seconds in the final two stages to reclaim our spot on the podium."
The repairs allowed the brothers to make a final assault for a podium finish. Not only did they make up the deficit, but yet again clocked the second-fastest stage time on both stages, only behind current ARC Champion Neal Bates.
Raymond was extremely pleased after using his new Pirelli tyres on gravel for the first time, and while admitting that both he and Matt are becoming much more used to the car, he acknowledged the significant increase in the vehicleâ€™s performance after the great job Melbourne Performance Centre had done tuning the car recently.
"Weâ€™re matching times with Simon (Evans) and Neal (Bates), and heading into our favourite event the Forest Rally next month, we have to be confident of pushing for a podium finish yet again," said Raymond.
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