Targa Tasmania downgraded to touring event

Targa Tasmania has been downgraded to a tour event

Motorsport Australia has issued a statement confirming the remainder of this year’s Targa Tasmania will be downgraded to a non-competitive tour event.

The decision comes in the wake of a driver losing his life on Day 2 of the event after his car crashed over an embankment on Olivers Road, Mount Roland.

Subsequently, organisers and Motorsport Australia held discussions before announcing the event had been downgraded late on Wednesday evening.

Drivers will now be restricted to signposted speed limits on closed road sections for the remainder of the event.

“It has been another tough day for all our TARGA community and we offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends so impacted by this tragedy. Their loss is immense and we feel their pain. This is a very sad time,” said Mark Perry, CEO of event organisers TARGA Australia.

“The change to downgrade the event to touring only was a difficult one for all of us to make but one that was necessary in the current circumstances as we work through this difficult time.

“So much has been done to make this sport safer since our event 12 months ago but we have still lost a competitor, and we all need time to further reflect.”

Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport Michael Smith said the governing body supported the decision.

“On behalf of everyone at Motorsport Australia, we offer our sympathies to those impacted by this tragedy,” Smith said.

“We are now working closely with the Tasmanian Police and emergency services, along with TARGA event organisers as the investigation into the incident begins.

“We will continue to offer our support to the entire TARGA community, including our officials and competitors.”

Yesterday marked the fourth death on the event in two years and comes after a an Investigatory Tribunal handed down 23 recommendations addressing the event, and tarmac rallying in general following last year’s edition.

Both Motorsport Australia and Targa Australia, which organises the Tasmania event and others, collectively accepted all those recommendations and committed to implementing them.

Two items remained a “work in progress”, however, with a superlicence-style system to be implemented for future events.

Targa Tasmania continues today with Leg 3, a loop around the state’s north east from Launceston to St Helens and back.

Speedcafe.com joins organisers in extending its condolences to the deceased’s family and friends.

Motorsport Australia statement in full

Motorsport Australia and TARGA can confirm the remainder of TARGA Tasmania will be downgraded to a non-competitive tour event.

The decision follows the tragic passing of a competitor on Wednesday afternoon.

While cars will continue to drive on closed roads, drivers will now be limited the signposted speed limits for the remainder of the event.

Those who have entered into the competitive stages will be given the opportunity to join the Tour.

TARGA CEO Mark Perry said the decision to downgrade TARGA Tasmania was a difficult one, but necessary so the incident to be fully investigated and understood.

“It has been another tough day for all our TARGA community and we offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends so impacted by this tragedy. Their loss is immense and we feel their pain. This is a very sad time,” Perry said.

“The change to downgrade the event to touring only was a difficult one for all of us to make but one that was necessary in the current circumstances as we work through this difficult time.

“So much has been done to make this sport safer since our event 12 months ago but we have still lost a competitor, and we all need time to further reflect.”

Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport Michael Smith said the governing body supported the decision.

“On behalf of everyone at Motorsport Australia, we offer our sympathies to those impacted by this tragedy,” Smith said.

“We are now working closely with the Tasmanian Police and emergency services, along with TARGA event organisers as the investigation into the incident begins.

“We will continue to offer our support to the entire TARGA community, including our officials and competitors.”

Motorsport Australia and TARGA will provide further information over the coming days.

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