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2023 Targa Tasmania Cancelled


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Targa Tasmania cancelled


By Daniel Herrero

Friday 14th July, 2023 - 12:38pm

This year’s Targa Tasmania has been cancelled amid an ongoing safety review and four deaths in the last two editions.

Three competitors lost their lives in 2021 and, despite an Investigatory Tribunal report which made 23 recommendations to improve safety, there was further tragedy last year.

Motorsport Australia responded by suspending permits for Targa-style tarmac rallies and commissioning a Targa Review Panel, which would find the risk both to competitors and of further serious incidents to be “unacceptably high”.

Even before the Review Panel’s 94 recommendations were released, in late-February, the 2023 Targa Tasmania had been postponed from mid-April to October 23-28 as Motorsport Australia continued to review the report.

Now, however, it has been cancelled altogether, as has the Targa Great Barrier Reef which was to take place on September 1-3.

A statement from Targa Australia read, in part, “Despite assurances that the sport would be back up and running by 1 July, the safety review panel process is now into its fifteenth month, leaving the sport of tarmac rallying without a clear future direction at this point in time.

“With the large-scale events just seven weeks and three months away respectively, organisers TARGA Australia have been left with no choice but to cancel its iconic motorsport events to the disappointment of competitors, sponsors, officials and all the TARGA fans across Australia and around the world.”

More to follow


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Targa to split from Motorsport Australia

By Daniel Herrero

Friday 14th July, 2023 - 1:47pm

2023 Targa Tasmania cancellation
The 2023 Targa Tasmania tarmac rally has been cancelled. Picture: Targa Facebook

Targa Australia has announced that it will cut ties with Motorsport Australia as it cancels Targa Tasmania for 2023.

Targa Australia runs the iconic Apple Isle event, which has claimed four lives in its last two editions, as well as Targa Great Barrier Reef and Targa High Country.

As well as calling off Tasmania for this year, having initially postponed it from April to October, September’s Great Barrier Reef event has also been cancelled, and its other “motorsport-based events” suspended.

In announcing that suspension, in a follow-up statement to that advising of the Tasmania and Great Barrier Reef cancellations, Targa Australia cited a need for “the full ramifications of Motorsport Australia’s review into tarmac rallying can be quantified and assessed.”

It further stated that “TARGA Australia has advised Motorsport Australia that they can no longer align their business with the governing body and will not seek a contract renewal on future events run by TARGA Australia.”

In taking that stance, Targa Australia referred to what it claims is a “record drop” in entry numbers.

The non-competitive Targa Tour section of the event, it says, would be restricted to 110km/h and 80 percent of tour participants have withdrawn, threatening the viability of the event altogether.

Targa Australia CEO Mark Perry said, “Our events can only be run with the support of our loyal participants, and on the whole, they are understandably disenchanted with the current landscape, and we completely understand why.

“We have waited and been incredibly patient with the process put in place, however this process has now taken a year longer than similar reviews in the past.

“Competitors have little certainty with what the future looks like for them and are rightly holding off on entering our events.

“In turn, we have had to make the difficult but necessary decision to cancel our 2023 events and undertake our own review and assessment on the future viability of our iconic rallies.

“While it is another sad day for everyone involved in Targa, we must now explore every conceivable option available to us to ensure the survival of Targa and the return of the ultimate tarmac rally, Targa Tasmania in April 2024.”

In response to the news, Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca expressed his hope that Targa Tasmania will return after this year’s cancellation.

“Motorsport Australia is disappointed to see that TARGA Australia events won’t proceed in 2023,” said Arocca.

“There has already been a significant amount of work undertaken to implement the 94 recommendations from the Targa Review Panel and that work is continuing.

“A new licence structure is now in place and further regulations are about to be released shortly.

“Throughout 2022 and 2023 we remained in close contact with event organisers as the recommendations were implemented and will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead.

“We are eager to see these events return in a safe and sustainable way.”

An alternative sanctioning body would not be a first in Targa Tasmania’s three-decade history, with the event run under an Australia Auto-sport Alliance (AASA) permit from 2007 to 2011.

However, an informed figure within the Australian rally community has told Speedcafe that AASA may well struggle to obtain the requisite permits to run such an event on public roads this time around.

This year’s cancellation is the second since Targa Tasmania began in 1992, the other occurring in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.



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That's a hard one. Look at the Isle of Man. Riders smash themselves to pieces and the event continues. Could you not try to give it more direction by introducing appropriate changes to the event. Maybe some sections could be regulated to 110 km max speed , other sections could be open. That way you retain the competitive nature of the event , but kerb the high risk factor. A lot seems to be about fatigue and cars getting that much faster as well. 

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 As tragic as it is with any death in motorsport and a touchy subject to some, yet all competitors are well aware of the risks...noone is forcing them to take risks by pushing the limits.

 From what I've been told by a friend who was a regular Targa Tasmania competitor and read from other competitors online, it seems MA exec's are hell bent on killing motorsport when they keep raising fees for their own gain, and sticking their nose in with the way events are run to protect themselves, which ultimately ends up with the competitors fitting the bill. It's rally driving for chrissakes! It usually comes down to the drivers right foot and driving skills as to whether they make it around the next turn, so if a driver/passenger is so concerned about losing their life whilst competing, then don't compete! It's not up to some executive knobheads to decide someone's fate because they're concerned their insurance premiums will blow up. They may as well just run rally events at a racetrack if they want to reduce the speed limits.

 Bloody stupid if you ask me



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7 hours ago, TwoHeadsTas said:

You can tell from the big raise in costs of the Rally Licences, and the need to do "rally courses" at great cost that that MA are trying to kill it.

 No doubt mate. Just a cash grab 


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20 hours ago, TwoHeadsTas said:

You can tell from the big raise in costs of the Rally Licences, and the need to do "rally courses" at great cost that that MA are trying to kill it.

Yeah, did a driver training at Mallala recently, quite a few were there to get accreditation for the Adelaide Rally. These guys all knew how to drive well but still had to shell out a lot of cash just to enter. That’s on top of the entry fee 😳

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