Sermons to our loyal customers became a regular part of this year’s 30th TARGA Tasmania for me. An event that took another tragic turn, impacting every single person in attendance and many more connected to TARGA, but not on the island at the time. With some time now past since the event ended, it is such a time again to deliver some words to the wider tarmac rallying community, as you all come to grips with the fallout that has come to light recently.
First and foremost, our thoughts and condolences continue to be with Sandra and her family. We will also never forget Shane Navin, Leigh Mundy, Dennis Neagle, John Mansell & Ian Johnston.
It is hard to explain how it has been at TARGA since the event finished but the perceived silence is actually a pretty normal thing post event. Totally invisible to competitors under normal circumstances, the TARGA team always have a week off straight after the event to recharge their batteries after working every day for at least 25 days, just to get you all to the start line, through the event, over the finish line and to the dinner. This year, given the expanded size of the 30th event, we had already decided pre-event to have our entire team (myself included) on leave until 16 May, to ensure the team were fully re-charged on their return for TARGA Great Barrier Reef.
Naturally, the reality of the event made it imperative for the team to be with their family and friends to support them through this difficult time.
Before we had even returned to the office, we were advised on Saturday 14 May by Motorsport Australia that their board had passed a resolution that morning to suspend all tarmac rallying until further notice. We were advised of this at 3.00pm and the media release was published at 4.30pm. We had absolutely no indication that this was even a discussion point before this moment of advice. This decision left us with a mountain of additional items to deal with on our return on 16 May. All on top of what is already a very heavy workload in packing up TARGA Tasmania.
Personally, I then also needed some further time out after a sudden family illness last week resulting in the passing of my dear old Mum in late May.
I can categorically say that the period from the cancellation of TARGA Tasmania in 2020 to today is now a period unprecedented in the history of TARGA Tasmania and dare I say, tarmac rallying anywhere in the world. Yet, we have continued to turn up every day to ensure that we deliver some of the world’s most exciting motorsport events for our customers. Our dream never fades, our desire to be better never subsides. We are always doing the best we possibly can, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
We continue to face new challenges every day and have many more to come in the weeks and months ahead. Key to getting through this time is unity, not division, and I thank the many of you that I have had communication with during and since the event, who have expressed care and concern for the well-being of myself and our amazing team. People who understand that our only role in the creation of the challenges we now face was to provide every competitor an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. What competitors choose to do with that opportunity is beyond our control at the end of the day.
As I clearly stated to those in attendance at the competitors briefing, we have done all we can over the last year to implement all of the changes needed and recommended by the Investigatory Tribunal, ensuring that you again get to live out your dreams at TARGA Tasmania. Ultimately though, we are in your hands. This has been a consistent message from me since I came to this role in 2006. Perspective and the importance of it.
We need to find a way to continue to work cohesively together to ensure that our dreams can continue to come true in the future. This is not the end, but just a pause in the journey to take stock, and ensure we move forward in the right direction.
We will continue to work closely with Motorsport Australia and the review committee to re-establish our events as quickly as possible, and insure that tarmac rallying continues long into the future. We will also work closely with the various competitor groups that take part in our TARGA events and the myriad of stakeholders who we need to approve each event.
I know that this period is, and will continue to be, frustrating for competitors, but after 30 glorious years of TARGA events, delivering life-long memories to many thousands of people across the world, patience is now the key ingredient we will all need to have, if we are to continue on this glorious journey to 40 years and beyond.
We will keep you updated as information comes to hand in the weeks ahead.
Thank you for your ongoing support during this most difficult of times.
Enjoy some exciting news below about 2023.
TARGA recently formalised its new agreement for TARGA Tasmania with Events Tasmania, which will see the country’s oldest tarmac rally be run until at least 2027.
In recent months, we have been talking more about our previously planned move to a March date. As we come out of COVID, and analysing the tourism landscape in 2022, we have decided, in agreement with Events Tasmania and the various regional tourism bodies around the state, the actual best place for TARGA Tasmania to stay for the next five years, is exactly where it has historically been held; the week after the Easter long weekend.
So, we are excited to announce the dates today for the next five running’s of TARGA Tasmania, which will take the `Ultimate Tarmac Rally’ to it’s 35th Anniversary event in 2027.
· 2023 – 17 to 22 April
· 2024 – 8 to 13 April
· 2025 – 28 April to 3 May
· 2026 – 13 to 18 April
· 2027 – 5 to 10 April
There is a myriad of exciting announcements surrounding next year’s event to come out in the weeks ahead, including the course (get ready for some amazing changes), the opening of entries, which will be later than normal on 15 August and what you can expect from TARGA Tasmania in the future.
We appreciate your patience in recent times and hopefully the moving back of next years date by a month will assist everyone’s plans to show their support for TARGA Tasmania. We can assure you all that we will be back better than ever in 2023.