Targa Tasmania tarmac rally future uncertain after latest death

The Targa Tasmania tarmac rally faces an uncertain future after a fourth death in the last two events following a fatality at this year’s edition on Wednesday.

Targa Tasmania tarmac rally future uncertain after latest death

Tasmanian police have named 59-year-old Brisbane resident Anthony Graeme Seymour as the driver killed in Mount Roland yesterday on just the second day of running for the 2022 edition of famous tarmac rally.

The death follows three fatalities from two separate crashes at last year's Targa Tasmania, which prompted an investigatory tribunal and a raft of recommendations and changes ahead of this event.

Late last night organiser Targa Australia and governing body Motorsport Australia opted to downgrade the event to non-competitive, with competitors able to continue but forced to stick to posted speed limits on the closed sections of road.

The death has unsurprisingly sparked question marks over the future of Targa Tasmania as a fully competitive event.

According to Targa CEO Mark Perry there are too many unanswered questions over the nature of the crash to make any predictions as to what that future may look like.

However he admits there is now significant uncertainty over whether it can continue in its current guise as a fully competitive tarmac rally.

"It definitely rattles the cage," he told media this morning.

"I'll be as open and transparent as I can. I can only be honest to say there its no doubt it brings it into doubt. We won't shy away from that. But we need to work through it, because what we don't know is what happened.

"I would say that if [the crash] was unrelated to the car or safety or his training or any of that stuff, that will change the conversation dramatically. And until we know all that we won't speculate on the future and what it looks like.

"We don't know what the future is. You can ask us all day. We actually have no idea.

"I can say, and what you can see out there today, is 300 cars out there having a good time at a Targa event. So just think about that. It's not necessarily the end. But what it looks like from here, we're months away from determining that."

After police revealed the identity of the fatality Perry added: “Tony was a much loved member of our Targa family and we are just crushed by what has happened.

“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.”

Motorsport Australia's Director of Motorsport Michael Smith said he feels there is a future for the event, but admitted it may be non-competitive.

"Look, I certainly think there is a future for Targa Tasmania," he said.

"We'll work with Mark and Targa Australia and all of the other stakeholders to see what Targa Tasmania might look like in the future.

"It's too early to say that there's not future for Targa. It might not look different, but it's too early to speculate on that at the moment.

"[Touring only is] certainly part of the thinking. That's a discussion we'll have with Mark. But again it's too early, not knowing the circumstances of the incident, it's too early to comment with any certainty on that at the moment."

This is the 30th running of the Targa Tasmania, with this latest death the sixth in the history of the event.

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