Bates joins Targa investigation team

The 2021 Targa Tasmania event involved two fatal accidents

Four-time Motorsport Australia Rally Championship winner Neal Bates has been named as part of an investigatory tribunal to look into a pair of fatal incidents at the recent Targa Tasmania event.

Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame member and 1995 Targa Tasmania victor Bates will be joined by lawyer, FIA steward and former rally competitor Matthew Selley.

Garry Connelly will chair the tribunal, with Motorsport Australia general manager of people and culture, Tamara Joy, acting as the tribunal’s executive officer.

The quartet met yesterday, May 3.

It comes following the deaths of Shane Navin, Leigh Mundy and Dennis Neagle in two separate accidents last month.

Navin died on April 23 after his 1979 Mazda RX-7 crashed on the Mt Arrowsmith stage.

Mundy and his co-driver Neagle passed away on the final day of the event, April 24, after their 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS hit a tree on the Cygnet stage.

The tribunal will be tasked with: considering all information regarding the two relevant crashes; appointing experts to help with the investigation; calling witnesses to give evidence; and looking into any other appropriate incidents at the event.

Finally, the tribunal will be charged with the responsibility of delivering recommendations to the Motorsport Australia board with relation to the incidents, and tarmac rallies on the whole.

A number of documents have already been requested to get the ball rolling, including a Motorsport Australia-prepared expert report into the two crashes by Friday, May 14.

Event organisers are to also make a submission on the two incidents, plus any other incidents that resulted in hospitalisation, by May 14.

The tribunal’s recommendations are expected to be made by the end of 2021.

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