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FOUR new sporting appointments have started 2016 on a strong note for Rally Australia, the annual round of the FIA World Rally Championship staged on the New South Wales Coffs Coast.

Wayne Kenny will be the Clerk of Course, succeeding Adrian Stafford as the senior sporting official for the 17-20 November event.

Mr Kenny will lead a team on-event of around 1500 staff and volunteer officials and will undertake the role in addition to his current position as Senior Executive Officer at the rally’s Coffs Harbour office.

Mr Stafford, who was Clerk of Course in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and has worked on 22 Rally Australia events, will step away from daily responsibilities to become Sporting Director and liaison with WRC teams planning to compete in the Coffs Coast round. He will be fully involved in the development of the rally course and the event itinerary for 2016.

Ms Catherine Clyne joins the organisation as Administration and Motorsport Co-ordinator, while experienced official Alan Vaughan will become Government Liaison and Documentation Manager.

Alan Vaughan copy

PHOTO: Alan Vaughan

Chairman Ben Rainsford said the appointments would strengthen Rally Australia as it prepared for its 25th event in November.

“Wayne Kenny has many years’ experience as a successful rally organiser and will handle the sporting management of Rally Australia with outstanding competence,” Mr Rainsford said.

“He takes over from literally one of the world’s top motorsport officials – in 2014, Adrian Stafford was named the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s Outstanding Official of the Year. After 22 years, Adrian understandably wants more time to himself, but we’re delighted he’s agreed to continue as Sporting Director and team liaison and give us the benefit of his extraordinary experience.

“We also welcome Catherine Clyne, who joins us after working for major football club Manchester United, where she was involved with the rugby league world cup and Olympic Games. We look forward to Catherine contributing fresh ideas from outside the motorsport world.

“Alan Vaughan, who has worked tirelessly as a senior volunteer official since 2009, will have an important role liaising with the many government departments and other agencies whose involvement is essential to the staging of Rally Australia. As Documentation Manager, he’ll be responsible for the efficient production of the many publications the event requires for competitors, officials, media and others.

“These four new appointments will complement an existing team of staff and officials who are among the best in the world at their jobs and have earned Rally Australia an outstanding reputation in the World Rally Championship.

“We’re looking forward to the coming months of event preparation with great confidence and excitement.”

The 2016 Rally Australia will be the 14th and final round of the WRC. It will also be the 25th Rally Australia, although the 1988 inaugural event was not a WRC round and 1994 hosted only the 2-Litre World Cup.

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.