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Rally Australia has appointed Barry Habgood as Chief Scrutineer and Technical Manager of the FIA World Rally Championship event on the New South Wales Coffs Coast next September.

Habgood will manage the technical scrutiny of up to 150 cars expected to contest the WRC and support events at Rally Australia on 12-15 September.

Cars must comply with safety and technical rules before they are allowed to compete and will be submitted to further inspections during and after the rally.

Mr Habgood has many years’ experience in motorsport, holding official positions at Rally Australia during its time in Western Australia, at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, on the Australian Rally Championship since 1992 and on many events around Coffs Harbour, where he lives and operates an automotive workshop.

He was the 2001 Confederation of Australian Motor Sport Official of the Year.

The pre-event scrutineering program is likely to involve young automotive trade apprentices from the Coffs Harbour college of TAFE (Technical and Further Education), giving them hands-on experience with some of the world’s most highly-developed competition cars.

“Nothing is in place yet but it is hoped that local automotive trade apprentices who are interested can become involved with the scrutiny team through the local TAFE (the scrutineering venue for Rally Australia in 2011),” Mr Habgood said.

“The local TAFE has been very supportive of Rally Australia and we would like to support any students interested.

“I’m very proud to be appointed as part of an extremely talented organising team.

“Over the years I have become friends with all those involved in this event and feel that this is the best possible team in Australia. To be part of that is fantastic.”

Mr Habgood will manage his technical role on behalf of the event’s sporting chief, Clerk-of-Course Adrian Stafford.

“I am delighted that Barry has accepted the role as our Chief Scrutineer and Technical representative,” Mr Stafford said.

“Barry is not new to the WRC and having worked alongside him at many events over the years I know how highly he is regarded by the teams, the FIA and CAMS.

“Ensuring the technical compliance of the rally cars is a fundamental aspect of ensuring fair competition and there is no doubting Barry’s technical knowledge and experience.

“He is able to combine this skill with a friendly and positive approach, which has earned him huge respect.

“That he is also a local from the Coffs region is an added bonus, because Barry will be able to use his local knowledge to further assist visitors and competitors when we bring the WRC back to Coffs next year.”

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