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Australian Rally Championship commercial rights holder, Rallycorp, has appointed a new Chairman to steer the sport’s future.

Adelaide businessman, Ben Rainsford, will take over from retiring Chairman, Steve Ashton, who has held the position since the inception of Rallycorp Pty Ltd in 1999 as the commercial rights holder for the ARC.

Rainsford has been a Board member of Rallycorp since January and is a long serving member of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport’s Australian Rally Commission.

He said he looked forward to developing the ARC’s potential.

“There are enormous opportunities available to the Australian Rally Championship and a number of our plans are already well under way,” Mr Rainsford said.

“The series is one of the world’s most respected and competitive national rally championships. We will have an extended calendar of eight events in 2009, including an appearance at the Repco Rally Australia world championship round, new categories and a strong level of interest from potential new teams.”
 
The retiring Chairman, Steve Ashton, believes that the time is right for the change. “It is time for Rallycorp to have a new leader as we enter a period of reinvention for the Australian Rally Championship,” Ashton said.
 
“We have a new ARC structure, including categories for a 2WD Championship and a Showroom category, and the Australian Rally Commission is investigating opportunities for carbon offsets and a category for alternative fuels. This year, for the first time, we have had a tarmac round of the Championship.”
 
“We are very optimistic that we will have some new manufacturers competing in 2009. Now is the right time for a change and I think Ben will make an excellent Chairman,” Ashton added.
 
Ashton will remain on the Rallycorp board for a short transition process to ensure retention of corporate knowledge and stability during the transition period.

The Rallycorp Board comprises Ben Rainsford, Steve Ashton and Errol Bailey. Further appointments are expected as the current restructure process is completed.

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