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RAYMOND NAMED MOTORSPORT PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

Toyota privateer rally driver Glen Raymond has been named Australian Motorsport Personality of the Year at the end-of-season Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) Awards.

Raymond collected the award in Melbourne on Friday night, capping a breakthrough season in the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) for the young Victorian.

Alongside co-driver and brother, Matt, the 23-year-old finished fifth in the standings and third in the Privateers' Cup in his first season behind the wheel of an ex-TRD Corolla Group N (P).

Raymond finished the season ahead of former World Rally Championship driver Michael Guest and claimed his maiden podium finish at the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge in October.

"I was extremely surprised when they called out my name," Raymond said. "It still hasn't sunk in that I won."

"I was really humbled just to be nominated, but I have to say a big thank you to all the people that voted for me and supported me this year.

"The night was all about Australian champions and to even rub shoulders with them was special. But, to have people being inducted into the Hall of Fame shake my hand and congratulate me was something I will always cherish.

"This year was our first in the Corolla and we intended it to be a learning year. However, we just got quicker and quicker and this award is the best way to top off the year. We now hope to hit the ground running in 2009."

Toyota has now claimed three out of seven publically voted Motorsport Personality of the Year Awards, with Raymond joining Sue Evans (who won last year) and Simon Evans, who claimed the title in 2003.

Toyota motorsport manager Todd Connolly congratulated Raymond on his win and touted him as a rising star of the Australian rally scene.

"Everyone at Toyota and Team TRD Rally would like to congratulate Glen on being named Australian Motorsport Personality of the Year," Connolly said.

"Glen has shown everyone this season what he can do behind the wheel of a frontline rally car and the fact his performances and warm personality have been recognised by the public highlights what a bright future he has in the sport."

Toyota's other highlight at the CAMS Awards came when Team TRD Rally's Neal Bates and Coral Taylor officially claimed their 2008 ARC Drivers' and Co-drivers' titles.

Toyota also officially received the Manufacturers' Championship trophy - its third in succession.

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IMAGES
Toyota rally driver Glen Raymond was voted 2008 Australian Motorsport Personality of the Year.
Glen Raymond entertained fans across the country in 2008 with his aggressive style in his ex-TRD Group N (P) Corolla