The Raymond Partners Accountants Rally Team is excited after the debut of their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X at Rally Tasmania last weekend.  Piloted by the youngest driver in the Australian Rally Championship, Glen and Matt Raymond drove into third outright before mechanical gremlins finished the charge.

The tarmac event, based around the hills outside Burnie, is a change to the usual gravel surface the championship is run on.

On the debut of their Mitsubishi Lancer, the team were running in third outright before the cars mechanicals put an end to the podium chance.

"Half way through a stage on Saturday the clutch stopped working completely," said driver Glen Raymond. "Using our PPG dog box we were able to finish the stage without the clutch. We were not, however, able to start the car in gear at the start point of the next stage.  We blew an engine fuse. With no time to fix it, we were out."

"We are obviously disappointed that we weren't able to complete our first event in the new car with a podium place," said navigator Matt Raymond. "However, we are taking many more positives than negatives from the event. The car looked and ran great - we remained competitive, despite the sole tyre supplier Kuhmo supplying some competitors with a better tyre than what was supplied to us."

"Tarmac is definitely not my preferred surface," added Glen. "With a brand new, unsorted car I was very happy with the times we set. We were a lot more competitive than we were last year.  As it was, we were working on the car up until the night before it left on the boat to Tasmania.  With two months until the next rally and an undamaged car, we can turn our focus to proper testing to get the car handling even better. I’m confident that we have a promising year ahead."

The team now looks to the next Australian Rally Championship round held on the infamous ball-bearing gravel in Western Australia in April.

The team would like to thank its supporters who make it possible to compete at national level: Raymond Partners Accountants, Warragul Mitsubishi, JNJ Electrical Contractors, Bendigo Bank, Blackwell Bodyworks, Quality Site Welding, Race and Rally, Legible Signs and VicParts.

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