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When Kununurra plays host to the official start of the 2007 Australian Safari, it will also host the inaugural Rally Show, giving locals the opportunity to get up close to the cars, bikes and competitors of the great adventure.

The Rally Show will be held at The Country Club Plaza Resort on Thursday, August 23 from 5pm to 7pm, with competitors getting flagged away at the ceremonial start of the Safari at 8am the following day.

It is the first time that the Safari will be run in Western Australia and Event Director, Justin Hunt, is delighted that the introduction of the Rally Show will allow locals to share in the excitement of the event.

“As well as seeing the cars and motorbikes of Safari, the people of Kununurra can have photographs and posters signed by the local, national and international competitors as a real memento of the occasion.”

“We’re expecting a field of over 80 entrants, so there will be a vast range of bikes and cars to see.”

“Being on the eve of the start of the event, I’m sure the competitors will be on a high and the atmosphere at the show will be fantastic.”

“While this will be the 20th Australian Safari, it’s the first in WA, and we’ve been working closely with the local shire to ensure everyone in Kununurra can enjoy the event.”

While the competitors from the United States, Sweden, England, China, Dubai and Scotland will attract plenty of interest, also sure to be a hit at the Rally Show will be the West Australian Rally Raid team (WARR) led by Rob Pollard and Glenn Brown, both of St James, Perth.

Brown knows Kununurra will mark the start of a testing journey.

“The terrain we will be travelling through will be very hard on the body and the machinery,” Brown said. “I am sure there are some long days ahead.”

Other West Australians in action will be Kalgoorlie’s Adam Greg and co-driver, Jason McNally, competing for their first time in the event with their 1998 Holden Jackaroo, a car built for the late, great, Peter Brock.

“When it was announced that WA was hosting the event we decided to bite the bullet and give it a go,” Greg said. “Being the only Kalgoorlie team entered that we know of has given us a huge amount of community support. It’s a nice feeling.”

While Kununurra is sure to get the Safari off to a great start, Hunt has been delighted with the response from all the towns along the course.

“Everyone I’ve talked to - local mayors, chambers of commerce, tourism offices, service station owners - has been excited about being part of the Safari and enthusiastic about providing things that will add to the experience of those involved in the event.”

While the precise course remains a tightly-guarded secret, the outline is well known. The ultimate off-road adventure will tour the state for nine days and cover 5500 kilometres. After the start in Kununurra, the event will move through Broome, Port Hedland, Newman, Meekatharra, Leonora, Kalgoorlie, York and finishing in Perth on September 1.

“We’ve been very mindful of designing the course to make sure it showcases so much of what the state has to offer,” said Hunt. “We will have people watching from all over the world and all eyes will be on Kununurra on August 23 and 24.”

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