Both Targa and Motorsport Australia admit that the latest causality does cast a shadow on the Tasmanian tarmac rally going forwards as the driver of the vehicle has been named.
In recent hours the driver who was killed in yesterday’s stage at Mt Roland has officially been named.
It was long-time Targa competitor Tony Seymour who lost his life on the second day of the 2022 event, and fourth in just two years.
Seymour was an experienced driver who had competed in many of Targa rallies in recent years which including events in Cairns and Mt Buller in Victoria and finished on the GT Sports podium in Targa Tasmania in 2019.
The 59-year-old was driving a 2013 Lotus Exige with his co-driving wife Sandra in the passenger seat when they went over an embankment, Sandra escaped with non-life-threatening injuries.
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.”
Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport and Commercial Operations admitted that the event may look considerably different going forward.
“I certainly think there’s a future for Targa Tasmania, we’ll work with Mark at Targa Australia, his team and all the other stakeholders to see what Targa Tasmania might look like in the future.
“I think it’s too early to say that there’s no future for Targa it might look different, but again, it’s too early to speculate on that at the moment.”
When asked if it could be run as a non-competitive event in the future he stressed that everything is on the table to be discussed, but not yet.
“That’s certainly part of the thinking, that’s a discussion we’ll have with Mark,” he said.
“But again, I just think it’s too early not knowing the circumstances of the incident. It’s probably too early for us to comment with any certainty on that at the moment.”
Perry was also asked what it means for the future of the event and expressed that it is not a discussion for now, however admitted that it certainly gives them headaches.
“It definitely rattles the cage,” Perry said. “I can only be honest to say, there’s 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, if it was unrelated to the car, or the safety or his training or any of that, then that will change the conversation dramatically.
“Until we know all that we won’t speculate on the future or what the event looks like.
“We have to just gather our thoughts, we don’t know what the future is, you can ask us all day today what the future looks like, we actually have no idea.
“What it looks like beyond here, we’re months away from determining that.”
Perry further admitted that cancelling the event in its entirety was considered, but in the end they allowed competitors to run through the stages at road speed.
“We definitely considered that, but in fairness to everybody on the tour who are just having a driving holiday, they should be able to still drive around, we detuned it a little bit back to the posted speed limit,” he concluded.
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