Vale Mike Raymond

Friday 08 November, 2019
CAMS is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Mike Raymond.
CAMS is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Mike Raymond.
 
Inducted into the Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame in 2018, Mike dedicated his life to motor sport and was influential in many broadcasting innovations as well as helping grow the sport at the highest level.
 
His love affair with motor sport began more than 50 years ago when he and his father attended the Sydney Showgrounds in 1949 to watch dirt track speedway.
 
He began working at the Showgrounds as a publicist and was one of the key figures behind Speedway’s rapid growth in popularity during the 1960s, which saw the grandstands packed at each event.
 

In 1965, he singlehandedly got Speedway on television after negotiating with Channel Seven on a deal to broadcast the sport, which is where his long and illustrious career in the media began.

Starting off with Speedway, Mike soon became one of the most famous faces in the sport, eventually getting his biggest breaks – becoming part of the Channel Seven Bathurst 1000 coverage alongside the great Evan Green.
 
Working as a senior sports executive at the network, Raymond, along with Channel Seven technicians, was instrumental in the development of the world-first RaceCam concept in 1979 which changed the way the sport was delivered into people’s homes.
 

Through this new innovative broadcast avenue and Raymond’s entertaining conversations with drivers in their cars, the network was heralded for its brilliant coverage of the Bathurst 1000 for many years.

During the 1990s, Mike then played a key role in the Australian Touring Car Championship’s key switch to the V8 only Holden versus Ford contest, which paved the way for the success the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship enjoys today.

In 1996, Mike received an Order of Australia medal for his work in motor sport. 

CAMS President Andrew Papadopoulos echoed the sentiments from the Australian motor sport community about Mike's legacy to the sport.

“Mike had a tremendous impact on motor sport and the work he did behind the scenes, from both a sporting and broadcast point of view, will certainly leave a lasting legacy,” Papadopoulos said.
 
“He was a fantastic commentator with an even greater personality and it takes someone special to be the face of a sport for as long he was.
 
“He will be sorely missed by the whole motor sport community. On behalf of CAMS, I would like to pass on our condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.”

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