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The owner and promoter of the award winning Targa Tasmania rally, Octagon, today publicly announce the appointment of a new Event Director of the international tarmac classic.

From August 28 Hobart businessman and former Targa Tasmania competitor Mark Perry (pictured) will reign over the acclaimed tarmac rally and the Octagon-managed Tasmanian round of the NEC Australian Rally Championship, the Subaru Safari Tasmania.

The Event Director position, soon to be the most senior of Octagon's Hobart branch, was created following the decision of current General Manager Tasmania for Octagon, Rob McGuire to move into semi-retirement.

With 15 years experience in the sports management and administration industries, Perry brings a long record of accomplishment to the position. His previous roles have included tenures with Netball Tasmania and more recently Tasmania's most popular circuit event the Tasmanian Super Series.

Having competed as a navigator in Targa Tasmania eight times Perry is now taking his passion for motorsport to a whole new level and brings with him accolades including a Gold Targa Trophy, numerous class wins and two Top Five finishes in the event's drivetravel.com Modern Competition.

“I am very much looking forward to the challenge of my new role,” says Perry. “As strong as the Targa Tasmania brand already is, reinvention will be the theme for 2007 and beyond. My aim is to update the event to better serve the needs of the competitors in today's market.”

Perry's first outing as a navigator in Targa Tasmania was in 1997 when he teamed up with former CEO of Lactos and Bass & Equitable, Russell Paterson. After contesting five events with Paterson, Perry coupled with Launceston Porsche driver Greg Garwood for another three outings at the 2100km rally.

Rob McGuire's tenure with Octagon and Targa Tasmania spanned eight years. McGuire was promoted to the position of General Manager Tasmania just two years following his initial appointment in 1998. Six years on, he leaves his full time role with Octagon to bask in semi-retirement but will remain in the part-time consulting role of Event Chairman.

With Perry's appointment McGuire tells friends and players of the Tasmanian tarmac rally, now in its 16th year, to expect some exciting changes starting with the 2007 event and is confident his predecessor is well equipped for the task.

“Directing this event as not only a good businessman but also an ex-competitor, Mark brings to the table knowledge of sports management with a passion for the event and an understanding of Targa Tasmania's target market,” says McGuire.

“Having been a competitor himself Mark knows what competitors expect from this event.”

Octagon Australia Managing Director Sean Nicholls is also pleased with the new appointment and looks forward to seeing Perry prosper in the role.

“I am happy to announce Mark's appointment to this role,” says Nicholls. “With Rob moving onto new ventures I am confident Mark can pick up from where he left off and further develop Targa Tasmania as it moves strongly into the future.”

Perry leaves his position as Senior Account Manager for the Tasmanian branch of national printing company Penfold Buscombe, where he worked for 17 years.

Perry will assume his position as Event Director on Monday August 28 2006 but will attend the annual Targa Tasmania planning meeting which will be held in Hobart earlier this month.

The 16th annual Targa Tasmania will be held from April 17 - 22 2007.
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