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A consistent and focused effort throughout the recent Great Lakes Rally of NSW has resulted in Glen and Matt Raymond pushing their Bendigo Bank Subaru WRX STI to fifth outright over the two days of competition, their highest-ever overall finish in an Australian Rally Championship round.
The team were pushing hard on the opening stage to try and gain a good position for the rest of the day when a flat tyre slowed itsprogress. They finished the stage on the flat tyre, finishing 12th fastest on stage. A quick tyre change and a tenth fastest stage time on SS2 helped the Bendigo Bank STI back to 11th place overall.
SS3 was a long and demanding stage, not helped when the car lost all brakes as the pedal hit the floor mid-stage. Once again the team limped through the stage to finish an incredible eighth fastest and jumped to ninth overall.
On inspection, the cause of the brake problem was diagnosed. A large rock had damaged a brake caliper, expelling the fluid from the brake system. The downhill Stage 4 was approached with great caution. Glen Raymond's only instruction to his co-driving brother Matt prior to the stage was "Read the notes faster, we've got no brakes!"  An outstanding 13th fastest was the result and the team had held onto 10th outright heading into the first service.
The cancellation of the remaining afternoon stages was a blessing in disguise for the team, as this allowed them to finish the heat and concentrate on repairing the vehicle. The true spirit of competition came shining through when local NSW competitor, Dave Darby, sourced a spare rear caliper which allowed the team to enter Day 2 with a fully operative car.
Opening Heat 2, the team immediately made its presence felt posting a fifth fastest stage time on SS1 despite again running out the stage with a flat tyre after hitting a large rock. They continued to set stage times in the top eight before heading into service again.
The crew entered the final service of the event in sixth place overall. Tyre choice for the last three stages of the day was critical, with the events of the previous two days exhausting the team’s reserve of new tyres. On used Michelins, the brothers once again posted a fifth fastest stage time, and for the first time, fastest privateer, on Stage 12.

Raymond explains his predicament heading into the last forest stage of the day: "To get the fifth fastest stage time on SS12 we had to push the old car hard. As a result we completely stripped the Michelins bare and we still had 12 kilometres of competitive stages left. Matthew and I decided to just go as hard and as fast as the conditions would allow and hope for the best. I'm pleased to say the Michelins held up extremely well considering the abuse they took. The quality of our tyres is one thing we have never compromised on and the Michelins have made the difference for us”.

“As a privateer you have to accept that you run to a tight budget but I'm extremely happy with the outcome - a seventh outright and fifth overall for the weekend. The team has done an outstanding job with the limited resources at our disposal. It’s a great result for us to launch into our home event, the Rally of Melbourne, in November."
 Watch Glen & Matt Raymond at a Spectator Point during the Great Lakes Rally



Photo: Hubble Photograpics 

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