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The Raymond Partners Accountants Rally Team have had a successful debut in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship by finishing second outright in the International Rally of Queensland. The crew, Glen and Matt Raymond, also pushed their self-built Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X into second outright in the Australian Rally Championship part of the event and first outright in the Pacific Cup, a division in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

After a year struggling with the car, the team are now starting to make positive steps forward after diagnosing an underlying issue with the electronic centre differential.

"We struggled getting the set-up of the car correct to make the car drivable," said driver Glen Raymond. "However, with help from Melbourne Performance Centre, we were able to find that the inputs from the centre diff computer were only half locking the diff. With the centre diff now fully locking, it means the front and rear wheels work together instead of always wanting to swap ends! These modern cars are amazing in the fact that you can plug a computer in to dramatically change the way it handles."

As a small privateer team from country Victoria up against mega-budget teams, it has made scoring their first International podium even more satisfying.

"It is super exciting," said navigator Matt Raymond. "We came into this tough event knowing that speed and consistency would be important. We drove with our heads and got an awesome result for it!"

The team was also rewarded with the Kumho Future Champions Award. The award is judged by Kumho and ARC management based on the ARC team which has shown the most professionalism, performance, determination and potential to become future Australian Rally Champions.

Despite a successful weekend, the team are heartbroken to find out that they are no longer eligible for the Pirelli Star Driver, a chance for young drivers to win a free drive at World level. With the regulations in regards to age changing the week before the event, Glen Raymond is now four months too old, leaving the talented youngster out of the competition.

The team now has a three month gap before the Australian Rally Championship continues in November for Rally Victoria, based out of the Raymonds home town of Warragul.

The team would like to thank its supporters who make it possible to compete at international level: Raymond Partners Accountants, Warragul Mitsubishi, Bendigo Bank, Blackwell Bodyworks, Pfitzner Performance Gearboxes, Quality Site Welding, Grunt Automotive, Westcourt General Insurance, ERG Race wear, Legible Signs, Melbourne Performance Centre, VicParts, Moe Engines and 99R Brake pads.

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