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.
The 22nd Rally Australia will be staged on the Coffs Coast, September 12 to 15, and Mr Stafford will serve as the Clerk-of-Course, overseeing 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 NSW 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.
Mr Stafford was also 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," Mr Stafford 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.