ONE of Australia’s most experienced rally officials, Adrian Stafford, has been appointed to lead the sporting organisation of next year’s Rally Australia round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
The 22nd Rally Australia will be staged on 12-15 September in the Coffs Coast region of New South Wales, 540 kilometres north of Sydney.
Mr Stafford will be Clerk-of-Course, in charge of a team of up to 1000 officials responsible for the planning and conduct of the competition.
It will be his first involvement since Rally Australia moved to New South Wales in 2009, but he was a senior official throughout its successful 19 years in Western Australia and Clerk-of-Course for its final four years until 2006.
He also was Organising Committee Chairman in WA, an FIA Observer and Steward at other WRC rounds, a member of the FIA WRC Commission and led training and advisory roles in support of bids by China and South Africa to host future WRC events.
Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford said Mr Stafford would bring invaluable experience to the Clerk-of-Course role.
“The Clerk-of-Course is central to the successful conduct of Rally Australia and we’re delighted to have secured the services of someone so accomplished as Adrian,” Mr Rainsford said.
“In addition to the task of hosting the world’s most challenging motorsport championship, Adrian will use his experience to help develop new talent in our sporting organisation, to ensure we have a strong base for continued growth in the Coffs Coast area.”
Perth-based Mr Stafford said he was excited to be returning to Rally Australia.
“I’m looking forward to working on the Coffs Coast and with everybody there who put together a highly successful international event in 2011. I have fond memories of attending rallies in the Coffs area many years ago,” he said.
“Over the coming months we will review the rally route and the planning for our major infrastructure and locations, with a view to making an even better event in 2013.
“Key to this will be the corps of sporting officials. We’ll aim to attract the best rally expertise from around the country while at the same time devoting effort to developing the local officials and capturing their vital local knowledge as a core part of our team.”
Mr Stafford will visit Coffs Harbour for this weekend’s Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally round of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship.
About Rally Australia
Rally Australia on 12-15 September 2013 will be the 22nd WRC event in Australia and the third since it moved to New South Wales from Western Australia. The 2011 rally attracted more than 13,000 visitors to the Coffs Coast, generating more than 64,000 bed nights and a net economic impact of more than $12 million for the region, according to Destination NSW. The shire and forestry roads of the Coffs Harbour, Nambucca, Bellingen and Clarence Valley local government areas provide a true challenge for the WRC drivers against a magnificent backdrop of subtropical coastal and hinterland scenery.
About the FIA World Rally Championship
The FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) is widely regarded as the world’s most challenging motorsport championship. Rounds in 13 countries pit drivers in highly-modified versions of popular production cars over a series of timed “special stages” on surfaces varying from gravel and asphalt to snow and ice. Started in 1973, the WRC over the years has been a battleground for makes including Toyota, Subaru, Ford, Citroen, Fiat, Audi, Mitsubishi, Mini and Peugeot. Volkswagen and Hyundai are poised to join the series, which attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators in some countries and a huge global television audience. The WRC is regulated and controlled by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for motorsport worldwide.
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