World's biggest award for officials to Coffs Rally organiser
COATES Hire Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast continues to win international accolades.
Chief sporting organiser Adrian Stafford has won the world's top award for motor sport officials, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile's Outstanding Official of the Year for 2014.
It is the first time a rallysport honour of this level has gone to an Australian official.
The award will be presented at the sport governing body's annual prize-giving gala in Doha on December 7.
"The award recognised Mr Stafford's high level of professionalism and leadership," FIA commissioner Mümtaz Tahincioglu said.
Stafford rejoined Rally Australia after its move to the Coffs Coast as Clerk of Course in 2013 and 2014.
His work on the special stages at last September's event earned huge praise for ingenuity and is believed to have been the clincher for the award.
"This award is the most amazing thing to happen in my motor sport life," Stafford said.
"An official is always a part of a team and the power is in the team and no single individual.
"I am constantly in awe of the dedication shown by motor sport officials at every level and often in the most testing conditions.
"The enjoyment and satisfaction from taking part needs to be experienced to fully appreciate."
Rally Australia chairman Ben Rainsford said the award was well deserved.
"Adrian has been an exceptional organiser and leader of a force of almost 1500 officials at the Coffs Harbour event," he said.
"His professionalism, experience and leadership achieved an outstanding rally."