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Australian Rally Commission (ARCom) Chairman, Garry Connelly, has resigned from his post, and will be replaced by former Mitsubishi works driver Ed Ordynski.

News of Connelly’s resignation was leaked to RallySport Magazine last week, however after speaking to both Connelly and Ordynski last Monday, it was agreed not to release news of the story until today, when an official press release will be distributed by ARCom.

Ordynski, who hasn’t competed regularly since 2004, was shocked when contacted by RallySport Magazine about the appointment earlier this week.

“To be honest it is awkward for me to comment,” he said. “If I say anything it will break the confidentiality agreement which I have signed.”

But Connelly was more forthcoming, saying that he and ARCom deputy chairman, Steve Ashton, have been grooming Ordynski for the role for a number of years.

“I was actually going to resign from the position last year,” Connelly said, “but when Subaru announced they were leaving the ARC I thought it would appear as though I was deserting a sinking ship. But now the time is right.”

Queensland-based Connelly has recently taken over the position on the World Motor Sport Council previously filled by the late John Large until his death, and says that the time needed to devote to the FIA role means that he can no longer commit enough time to his ARCom position. Connelly’s resignation and Ordynski’s appointment were approved by the CAMS Board at a meeting held last Tuesday night in Melbourne.

“I will stay on as a director of RallyCorp (the company which has the commercial rights to the Australian Rally Championship), but I probably won’t hold an executive role,” he added. “I guess after 12 or 13 years in the job you feel that you get a little bit stale too.”

Ordynski will not take over the post until January 1, 2007, however Connelly said it was important to give the South Australian enough time to move into his new role.

When contacted by RallySport Magazine last Monday, Connelly said he was concerned that the information had been leaked out prematurely. Only a small group of people supposedly knew of his resignation and that Ordynski would replace him, highlighting concerns that the news had been leaked from somewhere in the CAMS system.

An official press release is expected to be distributed later today.

By Peter Whitten

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