A whole new dimension has been added to the Australian Rally Championship when for the first time in its history a full tarmac rally has been added to the calender, this weekend’s Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge.

The challenge will be faced head on by the Raymond Partners Accountants Rally team of Glen and Matt Raymond, with their Toyota Corolla been converted from a forest machine into a road racer.

Preparation for the event has been slightly altered for the tarmac round comparative to the usual gravel events faced in the championship. With a smooth and high grip surface, the team has been able to completely change the car set-up.

Fresh from a touch up at Blackwell Bodyworks, the car will stand out from the crowd with its new look, which includes stiffer, lowered suspension and bigger racing wheels to make sure the Corolla maintains as much lateral grip as possible during cornering.

Team driver, Glen Raymond, was also given a huge lift when Toyota Racing Development driver and current leader in the championship, Neal Bates, flew to Victoria to give Raymond tarmac driving tips.

"To have Neal (Bates) in the car and help with my tarmac driving was awesome," stated Raymond. "Not only did he teach me to be a faster tarmac driver, but also a safer one too. I’m really looking forward to the event where I can put my new techniques into practice.”

"We can’t wait for this weekend," said an excited navigator, Matt Raymond. "It’s a whole new kettle of fish, but we are there to learn, have fun and also bring home a car that, for once, isn’t covered in mud!"

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