IQG Rally Events Australia (Rally Events) has been confirmed as the new promoter of the Australian round of the FIA World Rally Championship, following an announcement in Perth on Sunday afternoon.

The privately owned company confirmed that an agreement had been signed with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) for an initial 5-year contract, with two 5-year options.

The first event will take place in September 2008. And all future events will be managed from a permanent Headquarters in South East Queensland, located within 50 kilometres of Brisbane.

Rally Events is looking to incorporate a number of new initiatives to build on the existing success of Rally Australia, and create an even more exciting and entertaining event for both competitors and spectators.

“These (the new initiatives) may include investigating the development of a selection of permanent Special Stages on specially acquired land that features a mix of rally conditions, and these features would be complemented with permanent media broadcasting infrastructure, and spectator facilities,” Ron Brown, Managing Director of Rally Events said.

“The development of permanent Special Stages (designed with a high degree of inbuilt safety) would provide a safe competitive environment and, at the same time, reduce the inconvenience for local residents.”

CAMS will continue to retain the sporting organisational role for the Australian round of the FIA World Rally Championship, as it has done for the past 19 years in Western Australia.

It is understood CAMS will consider a number of options with respect to the exact location of the event competition routes. The final decision will depend on a range of factors, including local community support, which will be appropriately consulted in relation to the event planning and staging.

Possible locations will be inspected by the FIA WRC Safety Delegate in mid November.

“We have invited Mr Garry Connelly to take on the role of Chairman of the Event Organising Committee. Mr Connelly was the original inspiration behind Rally Australia for many years and has agreed to return to the event as the CAMS representative and the senior Rally Official. His team of sporting officials for 2008 will comprise many of the people who you have seen working on the event in Perth,” Mr Brown said.

“Rally Events has an affiliation with a larger project group with considerable reserves. Using these facilities, a professional team of over 20 people have been working on the project for more than 3 years. The project has been thoroughly researched and planned, with documentation developed under ISO 9000 standards.”

Rally Events is a Brisbane-based organisation and its principals are experienced in international and national tourism, trade development, and project management.

“Extensive research indicates that an Australian round of the FIA World Rally Championship could be made commercially viable using a different operating model that recognises the changing nature of motor sport events operating in Australia,” Mr Brown said.

“The financial model has also demonstrated the event can be conducted without any government financial contribution. It (the Model) also reinforces Rally Events’ intention to develop substantial permanent infrastructure for the Australian event that will significantly reduce the costs associated with the use of temporary infrastructure.”

It is anticipated that a permanent structure would be utilised on an all year round basis for a wide variety of functions and activities that will generate additional revenue streams. It would also provide a base for the development and expansion of rallying in Australia.

Details regarding the exact location, possible permanent infrastructure and the Rally Australia management team will be announced in February 2007 for commercial reasons.
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