Targa Australia has announced all future races are cancelled while Motorsport Australia’s safety review process is undertaken, with a timeframe yet to be determined.

    It has also announced it will sever ties with Motorsport Australia.

    The safety review process, which has now been in progress for around 15 months, commenced after the death of a competitor in May 2022.

    Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca said the investigation would be all encompassing.

    “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,” they said.

    “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.”

    According to Targa Australia, a reduction in the speed limit of the Touring category saw the withdrawal of over 80 per cent of participants, which has made running the event unviable.

    Also in the statement was an announcement that Targa won’t renew its contract with Motorsport Australia, citing the two organisations no longer align in terms of values.

    Targa CEO Mark Perry said the review process and the time it has taken ultimately has affected Targa’s decision to align with Motorsport Australia.

    “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 Mr 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”.

    Paul Maric

    Paul Maric is an Australian car expert based in Melbourne, Australia. Paul is a founder of CarExpert.com.au & formerly part of the CarAdvice founding team.

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