Rally Australia, the round of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship to be staged in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, on 8-11 September, has appointed highly-experienced motorsport organiser Michael Masi as its General Manager.

Mr Masi will start in the position tomorrow and will be based at the Rally Australia headquarters in Coffs Harbour.

His most recent role has been as Senior Manager of Motor Sport Development for the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), in which he gained wide experience on Formula 1, World Rally and V8 Supercar events in several countries.

He was on the organising team for the 2009 Repco Rally Australia in Northern NSW and has been Project Director of CAMS teams that helped organise the inaugural Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix last October and the V8 Supercar rounds in Hamilton, New Zealand, since 2008.

He was part of CAMS’ contingent at the first Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 and during his time in the operations department of V8 Supercar Australia worked on events in Shanghai, Bahrain and New Zealand, as well as around Australia.

Announcing the appointment today, Rally Australia Acting Chairman Ben Rainsford said Mr Masi would lead an experienced staff and volunteer force staging the first World Rally Championship event on the Coffs Coast.

“Michael has just returned after almost six months working on the award-winning grand prix in Korea, where his efforts were highly regarded,” Mr Rainsford said.

“His task at Rally Australia is to pull together the sporting and commercial elements of what will be one of Australia’s biggest and most exciting motor sport events in 2011. We’re delighted to have him on board.”

Mr Masi said he was looking forward to engaging with local and State governments and the Coffs Coast business and resident communities as soon as possible.

“The FIA World Rally Championship will bring a massive international focus on the beautiful Coffs Coast and I’m pleased to see the region, which has a great rally history, is looking forward so enthusiastically to welcoming it,” he said.

Rally Australia will be round 10 of 13 in the 2011 WRC, which starts with Rally Sweden on 11-13 February.

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