TARGA Australia will continue to work with Motorsport Australia following that organisation’s decision to suspend issuing permits for any Targa style tarmac rally events.
The suspension follows the tragic death of a competitor, Tony Seymour, during the recent 2022 TARGA Tasmania.
Motorsport Australia’s Targa Review Panel, which was instigated after the loss of lives at TARGA Tasmania in 2021, will investigate the latest incident and make further recommendations on the future of Targa style tarmac rallies.
TARGA Australia CEO, Mark Perry, said his organisation would cooperate fully with the Review Panel and Motorsport Australia to ensure the future of its three events – Targa Tasmania, Targa High Country and Targa Great Barrier Reef.
TARGA West in Western Australia and the Adelaide Rally are also subject to the Motorsport Australia suspension.
“The loss of Tony at Targa this year was a tragedy and our heartfelt condolences go to his family and friends who continue to feel his loss,” Perry said.
“This is a time for further reflection and we will work with Motorsport Australia to ensure our sport has a bright future.”
“This was the 30th running of TARGA Tasmania, and it has such a special place in our state, and has led to the successful creation of events in Queensland and Victoria.”
As this matter is now subject to the Review Panel’s work, and is before the coroner, TARGA Australia will not be making any further statements.
Maguire wins TARGA Tasmania 30 as results announced
Burnie driver Eddie Maguire has been declared the winner of the TARGA Tasmania 30th anniversary event.
Maguire (Dodge Viper) had climbed to a lead of just under one minute after officials moved to downgrade the event at the end of Day 2 after the tragic death of fellow Outright competitor Tony Seymour.
Reigning TARGA High Country champions Jeff Morton and Daymon Nicoli (2019 Porsche 911 GT2 RS) placed second overall in Dutton Garage GT Outright.
For Maguire, it was a case of mixed emotions winning TT for a second successive year.
“We are glad we had the pace,” Maguire said.
“After last year’s tragic finish and we didn’t get to enjoy the spoils of winning the event, our main aim this year was to come back and prove that we had the pace.
“We wanted to race the Whites (Jason and John) and race them fair and square.
“Although they had a bit of misfortune at George Town on the first day they had no excuses for the second day so we had them fair and square.
“It is just a shame we couldn’t continue and battle with them for the rest of the week.”
Maguire and his co-driver Zak Brakey claimed five of the six stages on Day 2 with Morton winning the final stage of the day.
After suffering a broken right-rear upright at George Town on Day 1, Jason White went into recovery mode in his Dodge Viper, rocketing up the order to be classified in 14th after starting the day 133rd. White matched Maguire’s time on the Mt Roland stage.
Third in GT Outright was Angus Kennard with Ian Wheeler in their 2015 Nissan GT-R.
Jon and Gina Siddins were classified winners in Shannons Classic GT by 22 seconds after another polished run in their beautifully prepared 1970 Datsun 240Z.
There was an epic battle in Classic Throttle Shop GT Production section with Ben Newman and Adam Kudra taking a 16 second win.
Trevor Macleod, in a 2009 Nissan GT-R with Steve Glenney topped the Dutton Garage Early Modern 4 class.
Peter Gluskie and Samantha Winter (1989 BMW 325e) shared the spoils in Shannons Classic Handicap with Peter and Sari Ullrich (1964 Studebaker Avanti).
In Dutton Garage Early Modern 2, Adam Spence and his navigator Lee Challoner-Miles (2004 BMW M3 CSL) were victorious with a slender one second margin in a class where less than a minute covered the top five.
Spirit of Tasmania GT Sports Trophy was topped by Steven Sher/Fergal Murphy (2016 Lotus Exige while Matthew Carey/Jason Spotswood (1979 Holden Commodore) took the Shannons Thoroughbred Trophy.
Queenslanders Darryl and Peter Marshall (2002 Ford Pursuit Ute) edged to a three-point win over Tracey Hoven/Garth Davies (2018 Alpine A110) in the penalty-points based TSD Trophy.
Crowds line the finish of the TARGA Tasmania 30 Tour
A strong crowd gathered for the BOSCH Motorsport Official Finish of the TARGA Tasmania 30 Tour at Hobart’s Princes Wharf 1 precinct.
After six days of stages around Tasmania’s most iconic roads, the event ended with a few hundred tour cars and competition cars crossing the finish gantry to collect their much deserved medals.
Competitor Chris Bowden, who drove the multi-million-dollar 1955 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing 300 SL, paid tribute to his fellow Queenslander, Tony Seymour, who was tragically killed on Wednesday.
“It didn’t start out well. We knew Tony (Seymour) really well,” Bowden said.
“One of the great tragedies for him would be that he would be thinking he has impeded on the sport he loved so much.
“But I think the organisers made the right call.
“I know the competitors who stayed and did the Tour have surprised themselves as to how much fun they’ve had.”
Bowden was thrilled at having the opportunity to pilot one of the world’s most iconic pieces of machinery.
“Great food, met some beautiful people. The car just ran perfectly. The only time I lifted the hood was to show people the engine bay.
“Mercedes built these cars to do these kind of events.
“It’s an absolute privilege to be able to pilot the car for a week. I learnt a lot about the vehicle and its immense capabilities.
“I just had to keep reminding myself this car is from 1955. It set the bar so high when it was built.”
TARGA stalwart Glenn Ridge (1995 Mazda RX-7 SP) was thrilled at the support the event received by fans who lined some of the stages on the final day.
“This is my 29th TT and it was the first time I’ve done it in a Tour capacity but we saw some great scenery and met some great people and it was a bit more relaxed,” Ridge said.
“When you are in the competition you are going as hard as you can and you have to prepare yourself for it.
“This is probably the most relaxed I’ve ever been coming into Hobart.
“Anyone who gets to do TT loves it.
“The organisers have done a great job and they couldn’t have done any more than they have done.
“Everyone is very supportive of this event. We came back from Strahan today and there was a lot of people on the side of the roads. It was fantastic to see.”
The event covered more than 2000km and involved 34 stages on closed public roads.
GALLERY: TARGA Tasmania 30 Tour
Our team at Otherside Productions was out and about on the road capturing the tour groups on Day 4.
We have compiled a gallery from the route today that took the field to the north-west. The stages today included:
Mole Creek (4.40km)
Gunns Plains (14.73km)
Hellyer Gorge (20.73km)
Driver named in TARGA Tasmania accident
Long-time TARGA competitor Tony Seymour has been confirmed as the person who lost his life on the second day of TARGA Tasmania on Wednesday.
Mr Seymour was an experienced driver and had competed in many of TARGA’s suite of rallies over recent years which also include events in Cairns and Mt Buller in Victoria.
The entire TARGA community is deeply affected by Mr Seymour’s death and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.
The 59-year-old was driving a 2013 Lotus Exige in the Mt Roland stage in Tasmania’s north when the car he was sharing with co-driver wife Sandra left the road and went over an embankment.
TARGA Australia chief executive Mark Perry said the loss is being deeply felt by the event.
“Tony was a much loved member of our TARGA family and we are just crushed by what has happened,” Perry said.
“We are all just devastated by this tragedy and all of our thoughts are with Tony’s wife Sandra and his extended family and friends.”
The Seymours have been regular visitors to the podium in previous events highlighted by a third place finish in GT Sports Trophy at TARGA Tasmania in 2019.
TARGA event update: TARGA Tasmania to continue as non-competitive event
Wednesday 27 April, 2022
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 could 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 member of the TARGA family, 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.
Statement from TARGA Tasmania
6:00pm Wednesday April 27, 2022
With great sadness TARGA Tasmania can confirm a male competitor has died in a single vehicle crash on Olivers Road, Mount Roland, this afternoon.
Around 3.30pm today, a vehicle participating in TARGA Tasmania crashed over an embankment on a closed section of the event.
No other vehicles were involved.
Police and emergency services were called to the scene, however the man sadly died. The female front seat passenger received non life threatening injuries in the crash.
Police do not have permission from the man’s family to release his name at this time.
The crash is being investigated by police.
The road remains closed while a crash investigation is carried out.
A report will be prepared for the Coroner.
TARGA Australia CEO Mark Perry said: “The thoughts of our the entire TARGA community are with our fellow competitor’s family and his loved ones at this extremely difficult time. We feel deeply for them all.
“We will work with Tasmania Police and Motorsport Australia to understand the full circumstances of the accident.
“For now, matters around TARGA Tasmania for this year is part of an on-going discussion with our partners, Motorsport Australia, and we will announce more once our plans have been finalised.”
Maguire takes day one TARGA Tasmania lead
Defending champions Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey have seized an early lead as the 30th anniversary edition of TARGA Tasmania fired into action today.
Guiding their Dodge Viper through the 4.80km George Town stage, Burnie pair Maguire and Brakey topped the run by seven seconds.
While it was a solid start for Maguire and Brakey, fellow Dodge Viper campaigners and seven-times winners Jason and John White struck oil and hit a kerb, forcing them to limp through the stage to finish down in 43rd, almost 3 minutes 20 seconds from the lead.
Maguire said he also struck the same oil and had a few moments through the stage but was fortunate to make it through without incident.
“It was incredibly slippery,” Maguire said.
“We had a big moment where the Whites went off and hit the kerb but we were lucky enough not to collect the gutter.
“We are a bit devastated because we were looking forward to racing properly and I really feel for the Whites.”
Sydney’s Jeff Morton and Daymon Nicoli (Porsche 911 GT2 RS), who stormed to their maiden outright win at High Country in February, are equal second.
Matching Morton and Nicoli were Angus Kennard and Ian Wheeler (Nissan GT-R).
Sharing fourth overall are Hobart’s Michael Pritchard/Gary Mourant (Ultima RS) and Tony Quinn/Kate Catford (Nissan GT-R).
Topline Shannons Classic GT competitors Jon and Gina Siddins blitzed George Town, covering the 4.80km in 3min16 to lead the popular class by eight seconds.
In Shannons Classic Handicap the experienced Peter Gluskie and Samantha Winter (BMW 325e) scampered to a two second lead.
Dutton Garage Early Modern 2 and Early Modern 4 sees Andrew Bollom/Collins Greaves (Mazda RX-8 SP) lead by six seconds with Jason and Fiona Wright holding the barest of leads in the later category.
Classic Throttle Shop GT Production is topped by Stephen Maguire/Stuart Benson in their 2011 Mitsubishi Evo X.
TSD Trophy is being lead by Tracey Hoven and Garth Davies (2018 Alpine A110).
Matthew Carey/Jason Spotswood (1979 Holden Commodore) go into Day 2 with a 17 second lead in Shannons Thoroughbred Trophy while in Spirit of Tasmania GT Sports Trophy, Steven Sher/Fergal Murphy (2016 Lotus Exige) have a 16 second edge.
After the big field filed through the 3.57km opening stage (Hillwood) without incident, a couple of hitches struck the second stage.
There was a delay on the George Town after New South Wales pair Peter and Tristan Taylor collected a power pole on the George Town stage, walking away without injury.
Their GT Sports Trophy class 2015 Lotus Exige Sport 350 suffered heavy frontal impact during the incident.
Then the 1961 Volvo 122S of Ashley Yelds and John Doble went off as well.
Earlier Brisbane pair Zach Hegde and Sam Kenney (Retromotive 1981 Porsche 911) experienced a mechanical issue before scampering back to rejoin the action and complete George Town in the Thoroughbred Trophy class.
The day featured the ceremonial start from Launceston’s Grand Chancellor hotel before competitors headed out for the first of two competitive stages in the afternoon.
TT30 continues tomorrow with six stages to the north-west of Launceston with the lunch stop at Sheffield.
One of the mightiest fields in history will battle for a coveted plate trophy at the 30th anniversary TARGA Tasmania from April 26 to May 1.
A hot line-up of Australia’s finest tarmac rally competitors and machines headline a record entry list of 500 cars across 10 categories.
Among the list of GT Outright contenders are defending champions Ed Maguire and Zak Brakey (Dodge Viper), seven-times champions Jason and John White (Dodge Viper) and two-time winner Tony Quinn and Kate Catford (Nissan GT-R).
Sydney brain cancer survivor Jeff Morton goes into the event with impeccable form after his maiden Outright win at TARGA High Country in February alongside Daymon Nicoli in their Porsche GT2 RS.
Hobart surgeon Michael Pritchard adds to the mix at the front of the field with his English supercar, a 2021 Ultima RS, which he debuted at High Country recently with co-driver Gary Mourant.
Other strong combinations in GTO include Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (Mercedes AMG GT R), Angus Kennard/Ian Wheeler (Nissan GT-R) and Peter Nunn/Keith Johnstone (Porsche GT2 RS).
Amid a host of technical and regulation changes, competitors will be faced with the prospect of arriving for the first time with four wet weather tyres, part of the mandates from Motorsport Australia’s Investigatory Tribunal which handed down 23 recommendations for all Australian tarmac rallies in a 61-page report last September.
“The wet weather tyres are a bit of an unknown but it really comes down to driving to the conditions,” co-driver John White said.
The Classic competition will also hold plenty of interest for TARGA fans.
After campaigning a Nissan GT-R in GTO at TARGA Tasmania in 2021 NSW combination of Michael and Daniel Bray are back in Classic GT in their 1975 Holden Torana.
They will be pitted against Jon and Gina Siddins (Team 24oz 1970 Datsun 240Z), Adam Kaplan and Aleshia Penney (1988 Giocattolo Group B) while Dan Bowden and Tiffanie Hepburn return in the 1965 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350.
Experienced campaigner Kaplan had a nervous wait to see if the evocative Giocattolo could be prepared in time for TT30 after the machine experienced troubles toward the end of its comeback run at TARGA High Country in February,
“High Country just highlighted some of the small weaknesses we had in the car,” Kaplan said.
“Some of the major ones we are not going to be able to address before TARGA Tas but the car is ready to compete nonetheless.”
Some of the issues which hit the Giocattolo at High Country related to the sub axle.
Peter Gluskie and Samantha Winter (1989 BMW 325) have been in impeccable form and are one of the top fancies in Classic Handicap.
In Early Modern 2, Queenslanders Paul and Claire Buccini had the perfect build-up after winning both TARGA Great Barrier Reef last year and recently TARGA High Country in their BMW135i.
Adam Spence and Lee Challoner-Miles (BMW M3 CSL) are looking to improve on their third at TARGA Tasmania last year in EM2.
“We are excited about competing in the 30th anniversary. This is our 15th TARGA Tasmania,” Spence said.
“We want to finish but at the same time we are after a strong result again.”
Trevor Macleod and Steve Glenney (Nissan GT-R) are looking at back-to-back wins at TT in Early Modern 4 against a field bristling with strong contenders.
In GT Production, Stephen Maguire and Stuart Benson (Mitsubishi Evo X) are looking to defend their title from TT in 2021 against another hot field.
Earlier this month it was revealed that GTP will be boosted with the addition of Grant Denyer in a Duttons-backed Subaru WRX Sti.
The two-car WRX attack also includes an entry for carsales Editor in Chief and Director of Content Mike Sinclair who will have two-times TARGA winner Julia Barkley calling the pace notes.
The grassroots trophy classes have drawn some cracking fields with TSD Trophy headed by Queenslanders Darryl and Peter Marshall who have proven invincible in their 2002 Ford Pursuit Ute.
Jack Waldron and Gordon Gregory (1981 Mitsubishi Sigma) are again expected to pose a handful in Thoroughbred Trophy while GT Sports Trophy oozes depth with Matthew Gibbens and Timothy Jurd enjoying a last start win at TARGA High Country in their 2020 Lotus Exige 410.
1992 Greg Crick/Greg Preece, Honda NSX 1993 Greg Crick/Greg Preece, Honda NSX 1994 Andrew Miedecke/Alan Taylor, Porsche 944 Turbo Cup 1995 Neal Bates/Coral Taylor, Toyota Celica GT-Four (ST205) 1996 Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, Porsche 911 Turbo (993) 1997 Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, Porsche 911 Turbo (993) 1998 Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, Porsche 911 Turbo (993) 1999 Peter Fitzgerald/Michael Mansour, Porsche 911 Turbo (993) 2000 Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, Porsche 911 GT3 CS 2001 Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, Porsche 911 Turbo (996) 2002 Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, Porsche 911 Turbo (996) 2003 Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, Porsche 911 GT3 CS 2004 Tony Sullens/Julia Rabbett, Subaru Impreza WRX STiS202 2005 Jason White/John White, Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec N1 (R34) 2006 Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, Porsche 911 GT2 CS (996) 2007 Tony Sullens/Julia Barkley, Subaru Impreza WRX Type RA (GC8) 2008 Steve Glenney/Bernie Webb, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX RS 2009 Tony Quinn/Naomi Tillett, Nissan GT-R 2010 Jason White/John White Lamborghini, Gallardo ReiterSuper Trofeo Stradale 2011 Tony Quinn/Naomi Tillett, Nissan GT-R 2012 Jason White/John White, Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale 2013 Jason White/John White, Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale 2014 Jamie Vandenberg/Dennis Sims, Nissan GT-R 2015 Jason White/John White, Lamborghini Gallardo SquadraCorse 2016 Matt Close/Cameron Reeves, 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 2017 Jason White/John White, Dodge Viper 2018 Jason White/John White, Dodge Viper 2019 Paul Stokell/Kate Catford, Lotus Exige Sport 350 2020 Not held 2021 Eddie Maguire/Zak Brakey, Dodge Viper
Competitors complete shakedown ahead of TARGA Tasmania
Some of the key teams have topped off preparations for the 30th anniversary TARGA Tasmania with several hours of shakedown laps at Symmons Plains racetrack south of Launceston.
A decent spread of entries from the 10 classes put their machines through their paces on a day where lucky punters were also chauffeured around as passengers on hot laps.
Among the entries gunning for Outright honours cutting laps at the 2.4km circuit were seven-times TT winners Jason and John White (Dodge Viper), Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R), Angus Kennard/Ian Wheeler (Nissan GT-R) and defending TT champs Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey (Dodger Viper).
The track day was the final chance for crews to fine-tune set-ups and iron-out any bugs ahead of the world’s best and most demanding tarmac rally which starts on Tuesday.
While the day went largely without incident, Maguire’s Viper suffered a differential failure late in the session.
The problem surfaced after Maguire outlined that the Viper had undergone a freshen-up since the successful campaign at TT last year.
Among changes to the American machine is a new engine, driveline, brake and electronics refinements.
The team were confident the car will be repaired tonight after sourcing a part from Melbourne.
“The output shaft on the differential broke but the spare will arrive in time for us to fix it tonight,” Maguire explained.
“We are quite stoked that the problem happened today rather than on the first day of competition on Tuesday.
“It has also brought to our attention a problem we weren’t aware of.”
Maguire confirmed his team had gone for a different brake package to withstand the punishment over the six-day event.
“One of the only new updates has been the brakes,” Maguire said.
“We have swapped out the carbon ceramic brakes and have gone for the AP system with steel rotors.
“Hopefully we can get a bit more performance out of these.
“They should be a lot more durable.
“There have also been some refinements to the traction control system.”
Almost 500 cars have entered the milestone event across 10 classes with the first of 34 competitive stages set for Tuesday.