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As the Australian Safari heads for its new home in Western Australia next year, from August  24-September 1, preparations for the return of Australia's ultimate off-road adventure are well underway with the recent appointment of a Sporting Director and Clerk of Course.

With a new home and date locked in, Perth-based Adrian Stafford will head the new Australian Safari's sporting structure as Sporting Director, while Haydn Joss, also of WA, has been appointed the Clerk of Course.

The Clerk of Course of the Telstra Rally Australia since 2003, Stafford will now take on the extra challenge of the Octagon-managed Australian Safari.

“Octagon is delighted to have Adrian and Haydn on board to drive the 20th Anniversary event,” says Octagon Managing Director Sean Nicholls.

“With Adrian's knowledge and experience steering this event - I look forward to seeing this truly great automotive adventure develop even further.”

Stafford's involvement in motor sport started in the early 1970s when he first competed as a driver in numerous state-based events. Over the years he has contested other events including two Australian Safaris in the mid 1980s and more recently Octagon's other motor sport property, Targa Tasmania.

In 1987 Stafford was an active member of the founding Organising Committee in the bid to hold a WRC event in WA. His roles with Telstra Rally Australia have included Competitor Relations Officer, 13 years as Deputy Clerk of Course and eventually Clerk of Course.

Over the last 20 years Stafford has served in Steward and Observer roles for the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) at numerous State, National and International events and in 1996 was appointed as an Observer by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

“The offer to get involved with the Australian Safari is for me just too much to resist,” says an excited Stafford. “As Sporting Director I see my most important function as ensuring the sporting challenges of the event captivate and excite the drivers and media.”
 
A new team of senior sporting officials is already being assembled for next year's highly anticipated event, boosted by the continuing input from previous Australian Safari officials. 

“A draft route concept is now being evaluated, recruitment of officials is well advanced and the enormous logistical support is also coming together quickly,” Stafford said.

Also a veteran of Telstra Rally Australia, Clerk of Course Haydn Joss is now well prepared to stamp his mark on the new Australian Safari.  

Joss has experience in many forms of motor sport, including 19 years with Telstra Rally Australia, roles within the ARC, the Western Australian Rally Championship and consultancy roles with Rally of China and the Japanese Alpine Rally. 

The 2007 Australian Safari will be conducted over more than 5000 kilometres with eight overnight stops amongst the diverse landscapes of Western Australia.

The event will attract both Australian and International competitors and Adventure Tourists on both four and two wheels travelling over some of Australia's most corrugated and challenging outback terrain.
 
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