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Speedy privateer Glen Raymond will move up to a works specification Toyota Corolla Sportivo for next year’s Australian Rally Championship after purchasing the Group N (P) car from Neal Bates Motorsport.

Having struggled with reliability issues during 2007, Raymond will now have the chance to push for top five finishes, driving the car that Simon Evans has used for testing during the 2007 ARC season.

“It’s really exciting for us,” Raymond said. “It’s not a works drive by far, but we will be out there in a previously run manufacturer car and it’s just such a buzz for the whole team!

“It’s always been an uphill battle in an older car just to be competitive and we have been constantly chasing reliability. The Corolla is proven car and it’s fast, it’s the next step up for us. We truly believe it is a firm step in the right direction,” he added.

“I’ve only taken the car for a short test, but it truly is a testament to the guys at TRD - they have taken a fantastic package and turned it into an outright winning car.

The car has been purchased outright by the Raymond Rally Team and will be run privately, however they will have full technical back-up from Bates’ TRD team.

The car will be seen at the Rally of Melbourne in the hands of motoring journalist Paul Gover, before being handed over to the Raymonds after the final event of the season, on November 10 and 11.

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