It was one week ago today the man who made the Australian Touring Car Championship what it is today, Mike Raymond, was very sadly taken from our world after complications with Pneoumonia. He was 76 years old. The news was broken on Friday, at the Supercars Sandown 500 race, Raymond's protege and 2017 Australian Touring Car Hall of Fame Inductee, cheif commentator Neil Crompton nearly broke down on live televison when he told the world of the recent tragedy.
As big of a motorsport fan I am, I sadly could not attend Raymond's funeral due to the service being conducted in Sydney, and me living in Perth. He was surrounded by family and friends the day he went. But, in his typical fashion he spent his last hours joking and laughing with them, he wasn't afraid of death at all. As a mark of respect to the great Aussie man, every car on the grid for the Sandown 500 last Sunday carried a picture of him and R.I.P below. A tribute was televised on the grid of the race, and a one minute silence was held in his honour.
To give you and idea of how big of a deal this man was to the Australian Motorsport the National Motor Racing Museum in Bathurst flew flags at half mast. Channel 7 stations across the country all did tribute to him. And Australian racing legends attended his funeral in Sydney, such as Dick Johnson, Garry Rush, Craig Lowndes, Mark Skaife, Brad Jones, Bob Forbes, Warwick Brown, Charlie O’Brien, Bob Blacklaw, and Barry Graham, as well as speedway stars Brian Callaghan, Jack Porritt, Gordon Benny, Sid Hopping, Dennis Farr, Sid Moore, Ron Hutchinson, Steve Brazier, and former test rider Greg Kentwell. His death was reported in Australia's number one Newspaper Sydney Morning Herald, by former Australian racing driver/ motoring journalist Peter McKay. (Who also spent some time in the commentary box with Raymond back in the 80's.)
So, how can I pay my respects to this legend of Australian sport? Well, this is how. I am doing my tribute to Mike Raymond through 7 Articles, 7 Days, 1 Week. Yep over the next week there will be one article per day about former Channel 7 chief commentator Mike Raymond. And you can all pay your respects as well, by taking pictures of your self with a Red Jacket on saying "Be There". Send your pictures to me via my twitter @Zane Murcha.
So "Be There" For Those Articles Coming Throughout the Week.