TARGA is saddened by the recent passing of former competitor, Brian Learoyd.  Our sincere condolences go to Brian’s family and friends.

Brian was a pioneer of the TARGA spirit, being one of the first competitors to bring a late model C4 Corvette to TARGA Tasmania in 1996.  The arrival of the C5 in 1997 saw Brian move to this highly anticipated Vette in 1998.  Brian competed in nine events, winning a Golden TARGA Trophy in 2000 and a Platinum TARGA Trophy in 2003.  Brian also won the Category 8 LMS section in 1998, sitting alongside Greg Waters.

Brian’s passion and desire for TARGA Tasmania, combined with his willingness to bring a uniquely different car to the event each year, helped sow the seeds for what the Ultimate Tarmac Rally would become in the years to follow.

May he Rest in Peace.


One of the great characters of the TARGA family has left us to join other TARGA Legends out on the course in heaven.

Mac Russell will be sincerely missed by everyone involved in TARGA Tasmania and our sincere condolences go to his courageous and loyal wife, Marj, along with all their family and friends.

Mac first competed in TARGA Tasmania in 1993, competing in 27 events (21 with Marj by his side), being inducted into the TARGA Hall of Fame in 2007 before ultimately being inducted into the extremely exclusive Hall of Fame Legends section at the 25th Anniversary event in 2016.  Marj joined Mac as a Legend in 2019.

For those who have been around TARGA Tasmania for a long time, they will always remember Mac & Marj in their open-top Morgan, smiling no matter what the weather had in store for them and competing in the true spirit of TARGA, always ensuring they were there at the finish and winning a coveted TARGA Plate.

Many won’t know that Mac played in a key role in the formation of RallySafe, an incredible technological marvel now used in rallying all around the world.  With that in mind, we felt it was appropriate for one of RallySafe’s founders, Stephen Sims to share with us his memories of Mac:

It is with great sadness that we have recently learned of the passing of a great legend in ‘Mac Russell’.

Mac has been a long-term friend of mine as well as a mentor and inspiration in so many ways.

I have worked for, competed against, and partnered with him on various occasions.

Many might not know but Mac was an integral part of the birth and creation of ‘RallySafe’.

From early day financial support to becoming a long-time advocate for the technology through to business advising as the company grew outside of the nation’s shores.

By me, my team and anybody that knew him he will be dearly missed.

Have a drink and BIG cigar on Monday 19 June when we say farewell.

May Mac rest in peace having lived an incredible and rewarding life.


Motorsport Australia have released the Review Panel report a short time ago.  As advised last week, TARGA will now take the time needed to fully understand its implications on its tarmac rally events and will aim to release further information next week.  We appreciate the ongoing support shown to us by our customers, officials, sponsors and key stakeholders. Click here to read the full report.


TARGA is excited to announce that it will be able to provide some motorsport competition for its customers at TARGA High Country next month, ahead of a planned full event return at TARGA Tasmania from 17 to 22 April. 

Thanks to cohesive discussions between TARGA and Motorsport Australia, a Rallysprint style event will now be held on 11 and 12 February.  Utilising three eight-kilometre stages on the Mt. Buller Road and three runs over each stage, each day, competitors will have 130 competitive kilometres across the two days on one of TARGA’s favourite stretches of road.  Exact stage location details and reconnaissance notes will be released shortly. 

Each day will be a separate competition, giving competitors the option to compete on either day, or both days, as normal.  The overall competition winners will be crowned Sunday afternoon, based on points scored over both days, and the event will see the return of TARGA’s long-used base time penalty scoring system. 

Documentation, scrutineering, briefings, and the welcome party will all be held on Friday 10 February at Mt. Buller. Competitors who have paused their Motorsport Australia licences are asked to contact Motorsport Australia Member Services on 1300 883 959.

Seven competitions (four full speed and three speed-limited) will be run, with GT Outright and Classic GT not being approved for this event.  Classic GT vehicles which meet the Classic technical regulations may enter this competition.  GT Outright vehicles will be allowed to take part in the TARGA Tour. 

The annual TARGAfest event in Mansfield will still take place, as originally scheduled and the TARGA High Country Tour will also run as normal travelling over the entire three-day course announced in September, joining the competition field at the end of Sunday for a run up Mt. Buller to the top. 

TARGA CEO, Mark Perry said “We have remained committed to, and focused on, working with the Motorsport Australia Review Panel to ensure the future success of the sport and our business.  It has taken months of work to complete the review, but as 2022 ended, the already delayed running of TARGA High Country looked in serious doubt. 

“We are now relieved in many ways that we can offer our customers the opportunity to get some competitive kilometres under their belts.  We felt it was important, especially for those planning to compete in TARGA Tasmania, to give everyone an opportunity to drive their cars in a competitive environment as soon as possible.         

“Everyone who attends is going to have an exciting time getting back to competing, catching up with friends and moving forward after a very tough 2022.   

“We urge any competitor planning to compete in TARGA Tasmania to attend this event to ensure they are prepared for the 31st running of the Ultimate Tarmac Rally in April.” 

Entries will re-open at 9.00am AEDT Monday 9 January, with single day and two-day entry options available.  Entries will remain open until 31 January.   

TARGA looks forward to welcoming back all its loyal customers to Mt. Buller in just over a month’s time.    For further enquiries:  Competitions Manager, Blaise Heaney:  or 03 6144 9504