Motorsport Safety & Rescue – April 2012 report

The 21st running of the week-long Targa Tasmania has concluded a busy month for Motorsport Safety & Rescue, with 16 crews working on the event.

The event started with a pre-event prologue on April 17, followed by five days of tough competition right around the state of Tasmania.

Conditions were some of the toughest in recent memory, with rain and fog making driving challenging on many of the stages. Despite this, MSR crews had a relatively quiet event, with only a couple of transportations to hospital.

Local favourites Jason and John White, driving a Lamborghini Gallardo, dominated the event from start to finish, leading after every day of competition and eventually taking a two minute and 27 second victory.

Their nearest competitor was Tony Quinn in a Nissan GTR, while veteran Jim Richards was third in his Porsche.

“With well over 200 competitors, Targa is always a massive event for us, but once again all our crews did a remarkable job,” MSR boss, Geoff Becker, said.

“There is always the risk of a lot of accidents in Targa Tasmania, particularly if it’s wet, but thankfully this year we had a reasonably quiet event on that front.”

Earlier in the month MSR attended the Forest Rally in Western Australia, round two of the Australian Rally Championship, won by Eli Evans in a Honda.

The event again included a class for motorbikes, adding to MSR’s workload, but fortunately there was only one transportation to hospital, and that was from one of the rally crews.

To conclude the month, two crews covered a club event in Victoria, the Blue Rock Stages, where there were no major incidents.

Coming up next is the International Rally of Queensland, a round of both the Asia-Pacific and Australian Rally Championships.

This is a full FIA-spec event, where eight MSR teams will be on hand to offer any medical or rescue assistance required.

The event will see some of the world’s best rally drivers competing, including Proton’s Alister McRae (Scotland) and PG Andersson (Sweden), and Australia’s former World Rally Championship star, Chris Atkinson, driving a Skoda.

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Geoff Becker and the Motorsport Safety & Rescue operation has now moved from North West Tasmania to Victoria, with a new office in Tullamarine.

This will make attending events easier, with less transporting of equipment across Bass Strait, and Becker says this is already making a difference.

“Less travel will reduce our costs, and being based in Victoria will also enable us to cover more events on the mainland, which should be good for business,” he said.

“We have some exciting developments, and announcements, coming up in the next few months, and we’re looking forward to a big 2012.”