Organisers of Australia's premier off-road rally, the Australian Safari, announced today that after a two year absence the event will return in 2007 and take place for the first time in Western Australia (WA) from 17-25 August.
The Australian Safari, frequently referred to as Australia's 'Paris to Dakar' is a challenging off-road rally offering competitors and teams, on both four and two wheels, a gruelling trek across approximately 4500 kilometres of the country's toughest outback terrain.
The provisional course for 2007 sees the race start in Kununurra and progress through regional centres such as Halls Creek, Broome, Port Hedland, Newman, Mount Magnet and Kalgoorlie before finishing in Perth.
Since its origins in 1985, the event has featured the likes of past World Rally Champion Andrew Cowan, Bathurst legend Peter Brock, Superbike hero Daryl Beattie, five-time World 500cc Motorcross Champion Austrian Heinz Kinigadner, South African Alfie Cox and female Dakar competitor Jutta Kleinschmidt.
Managing Director of event organiser Octagon, Sean Nicholls, says that as well as great support from local competitors he expects the 2007 event will once again boast entries from many international two and four-wheel contenders, with a particular focus on Asian markets.
“The event has always enjoyed great interest from Japanese motorcycle competitors,” says Nicholls. “With a growing interest in off-road rallying in Asia, Octagon plans to promote the event heavily via an Asian Roadshow into markets such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore Thailand and Malaysia.”
Nicholls says the enthusiasm EventsCorp has shown towards helping make the 2007 Australian Safari in Western Australia a reality has been tremendous.
“Octagon has spent the past two years searching for the right location to host the 20th anniversary edition of the Australian Safari. One location stood out above the rest and that was Western Australia.”
“Both EventsCorp and Octagon see the event as a great opportunity to showcase the entire state and encourage more visitors to the regions,” Nicholls continues.
WA Tourism Minister Sheila McHale says that WA's unique and diverse landscapes would provide an unrivalled backdrop for the Australian Safari and that the rally course would rank among the most spectacular in the world.
“We are delighted to be hosting the Australian Safari for three years because it gives us a terrific opportunity to showcase regional WA to millions of television viewers in Australia and around the world.”