Motorsport Australia suspends all targa style rallies

The Motorsport Australia Board has suspended issuing permits for any targa style tarmac rally event.

The suspension follows the tragic death of a competitor during the 2022 Targa Tasmania.

The Motorsport Australia b, which met earlier today, has also determined a Targa Review Panel will be appointed to investigate the latest incident and make further recommendations on the future of Targa style tarmac rallies. The review panel will be Chaired by Garry Connelly AM, while Matthew Selley and Neal Bates will also be members.

The new Motorsport Australia Risk and Safety Committee, which was established late last year, will consider the review panel’s report and assist the board in final decision-making on all relevant issues.

Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca said the board had made a difficult decision but was left with little choice given the current circumstances.

“First and foremost, we again extend our sympathies to the Seymour family during this tragic time and will remain on hand to support them, as well as the wider motorsport community,” Arocca said.

“While many competitors acknowledge that motorsport is dangerous, we cannot accept that death is an outcome of competition as has been suggested to us. 

“There are far-reaching consequences following such incidents, whether it be for the first responders who attend, the volunteer officials that are part of the event or witness these incidents, as well as the enormous impact on family and friends.

“There are also insurance and legal ramifications that impact the wider sport when incidents such as this occur. There are flow on effects that follow incidents such as these, widely impacting all aspects of motorsport, including licence costs and permit fees for all disciplines.

“As the peak governing body for four-wheeled motorsport in this country, Motorsport Australia must do everything it can to prevent these tragic incidents, and this will often mean having to make difficult decisions for the safety and sustainability of our sport.

“At this current time, we are not in a position to establish the cause of this recent incident, and this may take some time. Accordingly, the Board has determined that a Review Panel will be appointed to investigate the cause of the incident and to conduct a wider review of this form of competition. Any recommendations will then be considered by the Board for implementation on a more permanent basis.

“We have spoken to key event organisers and informed them of this decision, and while they are understandably disappointed, we will continue to liaise with them as this process continues.”

The board also confirmed that Motorsport Australia would continue allow tour events to be permitted, subject to a targeted risk assessment. Any tour event must follow all road rules and signs that apply on a route, even if the road is closed for the event.
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