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GP Week : Issue 28
>> WRC InSIGHT number of corporate Board directorships. When Rally Australia breathed its last in Western Australia in 2006, the hunt was on for ways to run Rally Australia elsewhere in the sub continent. “It was a long struggle. We went up plenty of dry creek beds,”Connelly explained. A lot of time was spent exploring the opportunities to run the event in Queensland itself, but all the time it was uphill. “The fact that Western Australia no longer wanted to continue raised the question whether the project was a viable one. We knew the project was right, it was the change of structure in WA which caused the event there to stop.” Then very recently the Government of the state of New South Wales formed its own events entity, Events New South Wales (NSW), which has become the new events funding body and which has the same structure as the original EventsCorp in WA. The new Repco Rally Australia event has been arranged so that the promoter and organiser will be a company called Rally Australia Pty Ltd, a 100 percent owned subsidiary of the national federation (CAMS), but receive funding and other support from Events NSW. So the smile is back again. There was so much unfinished business. In the days of Perth, Rally Australia became known for three major reasons. Firstly, the unique surfaces of the special stages, remarkable little bauxite pebbles that created a whole new challenge for tyre designs and driving techniques. This was special to Western Australia. Secondly, the wide variety of innovations which not only suited the special demands of the WA rallying, like reverse seeding running orders; Eye in the Sky, competitor car tracking systems, downtown superspecial stages and bringing rallies to the people, all of which permeated into other areas of world championship rallying. And perhaps the most fundamental of all, the degree of organisational detail. Rally Australia had a history of the most intricate innovations which other rallies would never have dared to contemplate, but which were carried out in Australia faultlessly. For Connelly it is very much starting up again where he left off. He says he is determined that the “customer focus” and innovation of the “old” Rally Australia will now be very much at the forefront of the new Repco Rally Australia. 47