There are fresh concerns about the safety of the annual Targa Tasmania rally race after a fourth driver died in the last two years on Wednesday.
A Brisbane man died on Wednesday when his car crashed over an embankment on a closed section of the event at Mount Roland, in the state's north, about 3.30pm.
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The man's wife, who was his passenger, walked away from the crash and was taken to hospital for observation.
Tasmania Police have confirmed the 59-year-old man died at the scene, while the woman suffered non-life threatening injuries.
— Monte Bovill (@MonteBovill) April 27, 2022
Targa Tasmania CEO Mark Perry said it was "shattering news".
"We lose a close member of the Targa family, a long-term, regular competitor of ours," he told reporters on Wednesday night.
"It's hard to put words to it for us right now, after last year and all the work we've done.
"After the 90-minute briefing we gave everyone the other day ... we swing towards devastation.
"We're totally devastated given we worked so hard to improve the event from last year."
Mr Perry said the pair were in the final stage of the event's second day and were one of the last few cars on course.
"It's a long-term stage for us, not new, it's not unfamiliar to any of the competitors, particularly this crew, they've done many events with us before," he said.
Tasmania Police crash investigators will return to the scene on Thursday to obtain photos and information.
Emergency services worked into Wednesday night to remove the man's body from the wreckage.
"I'm told the road was wet but it wasn't raining at the time," Tasmania Police Inspector Darren Hopkins said.
"(We have) no idea at this stage (about the cause). It could even be a medical condition."
Fresh concerns about safety of Targa Tasmania
Early on Thursday morning it was decided that the race would continue, but as a non-competitive tour event.
Drivers will now be limited to the sign-posted speed limits for the remainder of the event.
Shane Navin, Leigh Mundy and Dennis Neagle all lost their lives in two crashes during last year's event, prompting an investigatory tribunal to be established.
It made 23 recommendations for future tarmac rallies, including speed limits, altering stages year-by-year to avoid complacency and a tiered licensing system.
Seventeen of those recommendations have been adopted by rally organisers, with six the responsibility of Motorsport Australia to implement.
The latest death takes the number of competitors to die during the Tasmanian event's 30-year history to six.
Social media has been flooded with concerns about the safety of the event after the latest tragedy.
I hope this encourages the Tasmanian government to start taking road signage seriously. It’s extremely common in Tasmania to face a hairpin turn with no signage. Apologies for jumping on a tragedy, but often that’s what it takes for change.
— Rhys Muldoon (@rhysam) April 27, 2022
The roads in Tasmania are terrible. The people of Tasmania really need an increase in infrastructure spending for their roads.
— Camellia (@Camelli79450301) April 27, 2022
Wrong time of the year to have this event. Should be in the Summer.
— Dazza M (@daz_mctaz) April 27, 2022
The worst news. Such a sudden loss for everyone who loves them.
— Helen Earth (@helenshield) April 27, 2022
Absolutely tragic again! Live this event, love car racing but serious safety issues or lack of driver briefings?? Something else is needed obviously.
— Brendan Marshall (@BrenSurfer) April 27, 2022
FFS Targa Tasmania has learnt nothing from previous years...
— Tavendale 🇺🇦 (@HorrorFetishArt) April 27, 2022
Oh no, not again.
— Maren Goerne (@WildMaren) April 27, 2022
At some point you have to wonder whether Targa Tasmania is really that good an idea. Of course, the competitors know the risks and make their own decisions, but you do have to wonder. The rural roads are not designed for racing.
— Daniel Norris (@DanielNorrisAU) April 27, 2022
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