A ‘hard reset’ of Targa style tarmac rallies in Australia will take place in the coming months, following the release of the Targa Review Panel Report.
The Motorsport Australia Board has now reviewed and considered the Report, with the Board agreeing to accept all recommendations and begin their implementation immediately.
Motorsport Australia has today released the report in full, allowing members of the tarmac rally community and the motorsport community more broadly the opportunity to understand the reasons behind the recommendations.
A total of 94 recommendations will be implemented across the discipline to allow events to resume.
In order to implement these recommendations, no Targa style tarmac rallies will be permitted before 1 July 2023 as work gets underway. Tours may continue to run on closed roads, with a maximum speed of 110km/h, with more monitoring of competitors at any tour events.
The 94 recommendations cover various components of tarmac rallying, including course design, vehicle eligibility, licencing, the role of the competition checker and the training and preparation of both drivers and co-drivers.
Click here to read the full report (please note, the report contains imagery from the scene of the accident).
Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca thanked the Targa Review Panel for their hard work, along with all those who provided input.
“Firstly, we again offer our condolences to Anthony Seymour’s family, friends and the wider Targa community who all suffered a terrible loss at last year’s Targa Tasmania event,” Arocca said.
“No family should expect their loved one not to return home after an event, so it’s important we acknowledge the long-lasting impacts incidents like these have on various communities.”
Arocca noted the importance of the release of the finalised report.
“I’d like to thank the members of the Targa Review Panel – Garry Connelly, Matt Selley and Neal Bates – for their hard work and dedication in researching, preparing and ultimately delivering this report,” Arocca added.
“Today’s release of the Targa Review Panel’s report is the first step in the return of Targa style tarmac rallies in Australia. Motorsport Australia is committed to seeing these events return later this year, with 1 July 2023 being the initial date set to allow for the recommendations to be implemented.
“The 94 recommendations cover many facets of the discipline and will aim to improve the overall safety of Targa style tarmac rallies.
“Ultimately, it is now time for a hard reset of tarmac rallying in Australia to improve safety standards across various parts of the discipline.
“Having the right vehicles being driven by appropriately licenced drivers will be a key part of these recommendations being implemented, along with appropriate course selection by event organisers in conjunction with Motorsport Australia.
“If we don’t implement these changes, there would be a significant cost to the motorsport community, particularly through the risk of further fatalities or serious incidents and also through increased insurance premiums which would impact every competitor in motorsport, not just those in tarmac rallies.
“We’ve worked closely with the key event organisers of tarmac rallying in Australia, including TARGA Australia, and they have all been consulted throughout the process. Indeed, they have told us they agree with many of the recommendations.
“All members of the motorsport community were also invited to submit their feedback and ideas to improve the discipline. The Panel received almost 100 written submissions, all of which were carefully examined and considered by the Panel and many of the recommendations have come directly from those submissions. This included feedback from various competitor groups and committees who are passionate about the sport returning in a safe manner.
“Our administration will now work closely with the Australian Rally Commission (ARCom) to implement these recommendations and see the return of Targa style tarmac rallies in the second half of 2023.”
Motorsport Australia will continue to provide regular updates and communicate how recommendations will be implemented over the coming weeks and months.
The full Targa Review Panel Report will remain available on motorsport.org.au.