Difficult weekend for Raymond in SA
Up and coming ARC driver, Glen Raymond, drove his Bendigo Bank-sponsored Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car to a creditable ninth outright in Heat 1 of the Toyota Kluger Rally of SA and a strategic 20th in Heat 2 on the weekend of August 11 & 12.
Raymond’s drive wasn’t without problems though, as an engine misfire cost the team during Heat 1, and a catastrophic turbo failure on stage 2 of the second heat robbed Raymond and co-driving brother, Matt, of a top 10 finish whilst having a strong hold on fifth position and looking for further improvement during the day.
Glen and Matthew posted consistent stage times during Heat 1 of the event despite the mechanical issues. A mystery engine misfire problem cost the crew dearly, and was only rectified for the final group of stages. With a healthy car and high grip levels from their Michelin rally tyres, the team blasted back to rise from 12th place to their final placing of ninth outright.
The Toyota Kluger Rally of SA is notorious for fast open stages requiring a combination of skill and courage if a driver wants to set times near the top end of the field.
"I really enjoy the fast open stages as they reward driver and co-driver commitment rather than car technology" explained Glen.
"That said, the pace of this rally has jumped to the next level again, but it’s good to know that we are improving too, and are able to keep up the speed despite driving cautiously."
Heat 2 showed the stress and strain placed on the Bendigo Bank STI when the new turbo, fitted prior to the event, failed on Stage 2 after the team had muscled its way into fifth position.
Raymond was philosophical about the failure. “The turbo failure has put an end to us challenging for the top five places today. Turbos are one of those items that either last or they don’t. The regulations dictate what turbo we can run in relation to the car’s build date, so we do the very best we can with what we have at our disposal. The team has done an outstanding job of refurbishing the WRX STI, but we are asking a ten year old car to run at a pace that is even taking its toll on the latest model cars. When the car broke we were beating Neal Bates and were within a second of
Dean Herridge, which is really exciting as I really look up to these guys."
With the South Australian round over, the team will now focus on the NSW Rally of the Great Lakes in September.