A damning investigation into three deaths that occurred during Targa Tasmania in 2021 has delivered 23 recommendations identifying a race lacking in its ability to respond to serious crashes.
The 23 recommendations ranged from there being a risk the organisers of the race were unable to identify and respond to a "missing" car, drivers being unable to seek assistance on the course in the case of an emergency and driver competence not matching the high-performance potential of their car.
The tribunal looked into the events leading up to the fatal crashes, including comments made by one drivers about the reliability of their car, and the actions taken by one driver to avoid the crash.
The recommendations were broken into four categories: course design; vehicle preparation, suitability and related issues; driver/crew licensing, preparation and suitability; and safety systems and processes.
A majority of those were in the later category, and pointed to a race needing a safety overhaul of communications systems, official and crew education, and the ability to respond in the case of an emergency - like those that occurred in April.
The investigation was released by Motorsport Australia, and said the recommendations needed to begin to be implemented immediately, with full effect from March 2022.
Targa Tasmania immediately responded to the report to say it would work with Motorsport Australia to implement all 23 of the recommendations.
Targa Tasmania chief executive Mark Perry said the event cooperated with the tribunal.
"We know that competitor safety, while understanding the inherent risks of motorsport, must be a priority for all of involved in our sport," he said.
"All parties understand that we have much to do in the coming months, but we embrace the challenge that will see safety at our events continue to evolve and improve."
Mr Perry said a Targa event held in North Queensland early in September had implemented 13 of the investigation's findings.
Motorsport Australia chief executive Eugene Arocca said that group had also committed to implementing all 23 recommendations by the deadline.
The tribunal conducting the investigation heard from race competitors, some of who were witness to the immediate aftermath one of the crashes, and saw photos of the crash scenes.
One recommendation of the investigation about the processes for responding to a "missing car" - or crash - identified a "serious issue".
It said the "serious issue" contributed to one of the fatal crashes not being picked up by officials and instead being discovered, after a period of time, by another car crew.
In the final pages of the 61-page report, the tribunal made a comment on where it felt the race had made a significant error.
"This tribunal holds are contrary view. It believes it had a responsibility to comment on this ... This tribunal believes that it is not solely the right and responsibility of each individual to decide the level of risk they are willing to be exposed to," it said.
"The death or serious injury does not just impact the deceased or injured party. It impacts their immediate family both emotionally and financially. It also impacts their friends, and it impacts others involved in the event, in particular the intervention teams and organisers."
The report also highlighted the Tasmanian event was one of the most dangerous in the world.
Evidence provided to the tribunal by an international safety expert witness said:
The consequence of loss of control [in this event] is more severe than other events around the world. If you combined this with a high probability of loss of control, the result is fatal or serious injury.- International safety expert witness
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