TARGA is saddened this week to hear of the passing of Allan Horsley.

Allan’s legacy has been talked about a lot in the motorsport media in recent days, and TARGA CEO Mark Perry paid tribute to Allan’s legacy and his contribution to TARGA Tasmania.

“His passion for the event led to the single biggest manufacturer program directly involved in TARGA,” Perry said.

“A program that delivered great success to Mazda over many years with both the RX-7SP and the RX8-SP, which was specifically designed for TARGA competition. These cars still compete in TARGA in the hands of their current owners.

“Allan’s passion and vision for TARGA led to things like the Showroom competition and his mentoring of myself and Stuart Benson will never be forgotten by either of us.

“For me, it was a rare privilege in my own journey to spend quality time with Allan Horsley. Extremely competitive but kind, Allan always had the time to share his experience with you to ensure the ongoing success of TARGA Tasmania.

“They were special times and whilst Mazda never quite made it to an outright win at TARGA Tasmania, it wasn’t through a lack of trying with a little lady luck never going their way.

“Ten years on since Allan retired, and TARGA has not seen anything like it since and is unlikely to in the future.

“In recent years, Allan would send me regular emails pointing out the crazier side of the world we now live in and they never failed to deliver some laughs. I along with many others will miss Allan and may he always rest in peace.

Sincere condolences to Allan’s family and friends.”


On the weekend of 9 to 11 February 2024, two months before TARGA Tasmania, we will be holding our first ever Spirit of TARGA conference weekend at Mt Buller!

The Spirit of TARGAA conference will be held in conjunction with the fantastic events team at Mt. Buller, who have also been feeling the sadness of TARGA’s absence, and we thank them for their support and energy in bringing this new concept to life.

What is the Spirit of TARGA all about? It is about catching up with old friends over a meal and a wine. It is about learning from each other as to how you have dealt with the tough times, supporting each other, and how we will move forward to a bright future. It will also be a great opportunity for you to have direct input into TARGA’s future and hear from me about what has happened, how we got here and what we have planned for 2024 and beyond. There will also be the largest Q&A session ever undertaken by TARGA.

Naturally, any weekend away must be fun too!

  • It will kick off on the Friday night with a Welcome Party where you can have a few more drinks than usual knowing that this is a TARGA event where .00 is not part of the rules. After the party, the TARGA Bar will be open with live music and classic old party tapes on rotation on the various screens around the bar.
  • Saturday will see a presentation by myself and others of all the rule changes and their reasons for introduction followed by an extensive Q&A session to ensure complete transparency and knowledge before our return. I will also present the long-term business plan for TARGA, which will include the announcement of an exciting new event not seen in Australia before. It will be worth coming just to get the scoop…
  • This will be followed by a long lunch to give everyone plenty of time to catch up and enjoy the amazing panoramic views on offer at the top of Mt. Buller.
  • Saturday night will see a dinner held with panel interviews and entertainment, followed by a few beers in the TARGA Bar. 
  • Sunday will see a casual brunch held in the Village Square with bacon and eggs aplenty along with great coffee to say your goodbyes and depart Mt. Buller for home.

 Below are some answers to the basic questions:

  • Who is invited? Everyone who has a connection to TARGA; competitors & participants past and present, officials, service crews, families, and friends.
  • Do you need to come for the entire weekend? No, this weekend is flexible, and you can attend as much or as little as you like. We will release a full itinerary in the weeks ahead to help you plan your trip.
  • How much will the conference cost? The only costs will be what you eat and drink throughout the weekend. All other associated activities will be provided by TARGA and Mt. Buller. As each meal will sell out, we will be taking pre-bookings and payments. Bookings will open for these in the weeks ahead.
  • Do I need to bring my TARGA car? If you wish to, but we have set this event up to enable you to fly to Melbourne and hire a car if you’re coming from interstate to make it much easier to attend. The Spirit of TARGA conference is about TARGA people, not TARGA cars. Once you arrive there will be no further need to drive until you leave, enabling you to enjoy the festivities more than usual.

We hope that many of you will take this opportunity to enjoy a fun weekend with like-minded friends, to show what TARGA means to so many people. Get your friends together, book one of the amazing apartments on offer and enjoy a fun weekend away ‘on top of the world’ at Mt. Buller.

To get in quick with your accommodation, the team at Buller Holidays are ready to assist at 1 800 810 200, or

TARGA Tasmania 2024 Course & Road Book Revealed

Two weeks on from TARGA’s announcements regarding the 2023 events and future of TARGA in 2024, we have been overwhelmed with the support, well wishes and crucial conversations happening amongst the Australian tarmac rally community.

The TARGA team has been working hard behind the scenes to start rolling out key pieces of information to excite everyone on the journey ahead.

Today sees the release of the course for the 2024 TARGA Tasmania with five new stages included, along with the return of three others from many years ago.

There will be 37 stages in total (3 of these warm up) covering just over 500 competitive kilometres.

We have combined the previous reconnaissance information with Version 1 of the road book to provide prospective entrants with a level of detail never provided this early before, which will hopefully assist drivers and navigators to get more out of the course reconnaissance and in turn better prepare for the event in April. It will also provide us with great early feedback to fix errors, omissions and add detail to the road book to ensure the end version used at the event is world class in every way. 

Stay tuned for the Event Regulations coming next week, and entries opening soon after that.

A special mention to the Tarmac Rally Competitors Association of Australia for their letter of support to Jeremy Rockliff MP, the Premier of Tasmania, following his recent endorsement and support of  TARGA Tasmania’s return in 2024.

Letter from the TRCAA to Tasmanian Premier


14 July 2023

TARGA Australia has today announced that it will suspend all future motorsport-based events until the full ramifications of Motorsport Australia’s review into tarmac rallying can be quantified and assessed. This means that the 2023 editions of TARGA Tasmania and TARGA Great Barrier Reef have today been cancelled.

The safety review process has been going for 15 months, and with many more months ahead before all the details are released and implemented, there is still too much uncertainty for all stakeholders.

The uncertainty and the lengthy review process has seen a record drop in entry numbers. The reduction of the TARGA Tour speed to just 110km/h has seen the withdrawal of over 80% of tour participants in the part of the event which has sustained TARGA’s commercial viability in recent years.

Due to these unprecedented challenges, TARGA Australia has advised Motorsport Australia that they can no longer align their business with the governing body and will not seek a contract renewal on future events run by TARGA Australia.  

TARGA will now take the time needed to assess what the future holds for one of the world’s largest motorsport event providers.

It is not the first time that TARGA has taken a different direction to running its events. In 2007, TARGA left the then-called Confederation of Australia Motor Sport (CAMS) and ran TARGA Tasmania for four years with the Australian Auto Sport Alliance (AASA) until 2011, before returning to Motorsport Australia under a new agreement, which ensured TARGA’s viability. During this period, both TARGA and the AASA grew substantially with new TARGA events added to Tasmania (TARGA Wrest Point) and Victoria (TARGA High Country) to complement the world’s largest tarmac rally, TARGA Tasmania.

“Our events can only be run with the support of our loyal participants, and on the whole, they are understandably disenchanted with the current landscape, and we completely understand why,” said TARGA CEO Mark Perry.  

“We have waited and been incredibly patient with the process put in place, however this process has now taken a year longer than similar reviews in the past. 

“Competitors have little certainty with what the future looks like for them and are rightly holding off on entering our events. In turn, we have had to make the difficult but necessary decision to cancel our 2023 events and undertake our own review and assessment on the future viability of our iconic rallies.

“While it is another sad day for everyone involved in TARGA, we must now explore every conceivable option available to us to ensure the survival of TARGA and the return of the ultimate tarmac rally, TARGA Tasmania in April 2024”.

TARGA Australia will make further announcements as they are finalised.


14 July 2023

The 2023 TARGA Great Barrier Reef, scheduled for 1-3 September, and the re-scheduled 2023 TARGA Tasmania, set down for 23-28 October, have today been cancelled. 

Despite assurances that the sport would be back up and running by 1 July, the safety review panel process is now into its fifteenth month, leaving the sport of tarmac rallying without a clear future direction at this point in time. 

With the large-scale events just seven weeks and three months away respectively, organisers TARGA Australia have been left with no choice but to cancel its iconic motorsport events to the disappointment of competitors, sponsors, officials and all the TARGA fans across Australia and around the world.

“We have waited and been incredibly patient with the process but there are still a number of outstanding issues that are yet to be resolved,” said Mark Perry, TARGA CEO. “Given we need certainty well in advance of running these events, we have no other choice other than to cancel our 2023 events.”

“Competitors are also waiting on a clear direction of what the future looks like for them, so are rightly holding off on entering our events. This in turn has forced us to cancel our 2023 events, after postponing TARGA Tasmania earlier in the year to hopefully give the process more time to be effectively implemented.

“We have sincerely tried as hard as we can to ensure the return of TARGA this year. It is another sad day for everyone involved in TARGA.

“We will now focus on an exciting return of TARGA Tasmania in its traditional place on the calendar from 8 to 13 April 2024” Perry said.


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.

TARGA Official Spotlight: Emma Hill

Emma Hill has had numerous roles at TARGA since her first event in 2018, including roles as a Vehicle Tracker and Assistant Safety Manager.

She first joined the TARGA family alongside her soon-to-be husband Josh, who is now TARGA’s Operations Manager.

From pulling pranks on actor Shane Jacobson, to a TARGA Great Barrier Reef marriage proposal, Emma’s had plenty of unforgettable adventures on the road, and can’t wait to make more at TARGA events to come – with their new son Carter in tow!

What was your very first TARGA event like & how did you get involved?

My very first TARGA was TARGA North West 2018, an event that doesn’t run anymore. It was fast passed and got me hooked into the car world of TARGA . I got involved in it as my hubby had been a volunteer for years and when we first got together he asked if I wanted to come along and help out so I did and I have been involved in all events since except for High Country. 

What is your fondest memory of TARGA?

Meeting Shane Jacobson. Team Hill, as it was back then, liked to have a bit of fun and as Shane has had many acting roles, each day of the 2021 TARGA Tasmania event we gave him a gift to remind him of his illustrious career.

A penguin for Oddball, a g-string signed by the team for the Full Monty, and a plunger for Kenny. 

Oh and my husband proposed to me while we were in Cairns for TGBR – the most romantic thing he has ever done. We may have made the party tape thanks to Stridey. 

What is a TARGA moment or story you’ll never forget?

There are soo many moments and stories that I can’t tell them all – what happens on an event stays on an event hehe but let’s just say the journey from one stage to another can be long and arduous, but never dull with the banter and songs made up from exhaustion of the week that give us the energy and entertainment to keep on going. 

Are there any significant people who have played an important role in your TARGA experiences?

There are too many to name! When I first started as a TARGA volunteer pretty much everyone was a stranger to me and now I call them my TARGA family.

Spending a week at a time on the road you build a close bond with people and I have been lucky enough that each year the team has stayed the same and each event we pick up where we left off. This also includes volunteers and staff with different roles within the whole event.

It is just so nice to see everyone again each year. 

What was your first car like?

It was a 2006 Mazda wagon, not fancy at all but has been a very reliable car. 

You can only choose one song to listen to while driving for the rest of your days; name that song!

Life is a highway- definitely a singalong 

You have two empty spots in your dream garage; name one classic car and one modern car that you’d park there.

I love a 1960’s mustang GT lots of grit and power. Modern car- Mercedes convertible – girls gotta have power and style right! 

Describe your driving style in three words.

I was a good driver but now I’m a mum driver, much more cautious then I was before having my baby. 

TARGA Official Spotlight: Greg & Vicki Rekers

Greg and Vicki Rekers are long-time TARGA Tour Leaders.

Since their first event at TARGA High Country in 2016, Greg and Vicki have become regular faces in the TARGA Tour events, guiding Tour cars along some of the most beautiful and interesting roads in Australia.

While the driving brought them to TARGA initially, it’s the people that have brought them back over the many years.

As we celebrate National Volunteers Week 2023, we caught up with Greg and Vicki to reflect on their fond TARGA memories and some of their volunteering highlights.

What was your very first TARGA event like & how did you get involved?

Dave Thompson had to pull out of THC in 2016, but he had a car there for us (the old XKR Jag) and with little knowledge but a bucket load of excitement we made the best of it and hosted the Delatite Drives club from Mansfield. It was a hoot!

What is your fondest memory of TARGA?

It will always be our first Targa TAS. We found ourselves hosting the past competitors on the Tour, and these champions had more plates and podiums and wonderful stories that quickly brought us into the TARGA family.

What is a TARGA moment or story you’ll never forget?

It was when Shannon’s brought a group of very special guests to Tasmania in some of the most incredible Ferraris, and Lambos. On the first day, our Blue Lambo thought it was a Victa lawn mower and took to a paddock. All was well, the 100kph tape came out (in matching colour) and we were back in the game.

Are there any significant people who have played an important role in your TARGA experiences?

So many! But to name a couple; Gavin James, Michael Mansour, Ian Knight and all that crew, and of course Chris Gough who guided us through our early years. 

What was your first car like?

First car in TARGA was the XKR Jag owned by Tommo, an ex British touring car I think but still had all the characteristics of an unreliable Jag.

Vicki and I are Audi lovers so from that event on it’s been Audis apart from the one time I listened to my family in Mansfield and took our CV8 Monaro for the year, and yes of course it snowed!

You can only choose one song to listen to while driving for the rest of your days; name that song!

Hotel California 

You have two empty spots in your dream garage; name one classic car and one modern car that you’d park there.

1985 Audi Quattro. And Audi R8

Describe your driving style in three words.

Too slow for Gavin and Mike apparently. But it’s a tour, boys !

TARGA Official Spotlight: Brian Edwards

Brian Edwards has been part of the TARGA Tasmania family for as long as the event has been around!

Over the event’s 30+ years history, Brian has never missed an event, and has held a number of roles across a variety of stages, and most recently is part of the invaluable Lunch Break Crew, ensuring all TARGA Tasmania competitors and tour participants enjoy their TARGA experience.

As we celebrate National Volunteers Week 2023, Brian’s commitment and dedication to TARGA cannot go unnoticed.

We thank Brian, and all TARGA volunteers for their unwavering support.

What was your very first TARGA event like?

My first TARGA Tasmania event was the inaugural one at a time when I was with Devonport Council.  I was on the Devonport Stage, as the Devonport Council was sponsoring this Stage and staff members had the opportunity to spend their work day as a TARGA Official. Who wouldn’t take advantage of that? 

It was very chaotic. Everyone was trying to understand what was supposed to happen, expect the unexpected and do their bit, but there were many aspects that cropped up that were totally unanticipated. Still, the show got underway and from all accounts the Devonport Stage had minimal problems.

How many years have you been a TARGA Official for?

I have been present at ALL Targa Tasmania events. Officially, my record shows I have missed two; the first was the inaugural event (see above) as I did not sign on and the second was the first Oyster Cove Stage when I was there but as a Council Officer not a TARGA official. 

You can only choose one song to listen to while driving for the rest of your days; name the song?

It would probably be Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen; but any Queen songs would do!! 

What was your first car?

My first car was a side valve Morris Minor.

What is your fondest memory of TARGA?

Probably the camaraderie with the other members of our Team. We are a set of married couples, all around the same age and have a lot in common. We travel together in a minibus for the duration of the event. We all know what our jobs are but have experience to help with any other task, if need be.

You have two empty spots in your dream garage; name one classic car and one modern car you would park there.

I have always had a leaning towards a Triumph Stag, so I would choose that as my classic car. My modern car would be a Rolls Royce SUV, but as I couldn’t afford to buy, run or maintain one, it will always remain a dream.

Apart from officiating at motor sport events, what would people find you doing on the weekends?

I enjoy doing wood working and often make bits of furniture for my children, as well as toys for my grandchildren; but there is always work to be done around the house.

What is the best thing about being a TARGA Official?

Apart from a week with friends (and my wife), the hype of the event, seeing the cars, talking to the drivers/navigators all add to an enjoyable time.