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With depleted entry numbers and the loss of Subaru Australia as the event's naming rights sponsor deeming the Tasmanian round of the NEC Australian Rally Championship (ARC) financially unviable, event organiser Octagon has been left with no choice but to discontinue its future involvement in the event.

“Octagon is disappointed not to continue with the promotion and organisation of the Subaru Safari Tasmania,” says Subaru Safari Tasmania Chairman Rob McGuire.

“This event has a fantastic group of supportive officials and sponsors but unfortunately an event encumbered by high overheads costs and low entry numbers simply does not add up.”

Safari Tasmania first became a round of the ARC in 1993 and since then it has had several titles including the Southern Safari, the Saxon Safari and eventually Subaru Safari. The event's inception dates back to 1964.

Octagon, the owner and promoter of the award-winning Targa Tasmania, did investigate running a tarmac alternative to the gravel event which was held this year in July, but then re-evaluated the concept after measuring the potential threat it presented to Targa Tasmania entry levels.   Initially it was thought a tarmac alternative would prove more viable than the existing gravel format which currently sits on an already over crowded Tasmanian motor sport calendar.

“Octagon was excited by the concept of running another tarmac event in Tasmania,” says McGuire. “But following a viability study into the concept the deficits seemed to outweigh the advantages.”

As most suitable tarmac roads in Tasmania are already utilised each year by Targa Tasmania, McGuire says it would be unreasonable to expect residents to endure a second annual road closure which would be at the potential detriment of the 2100km tarmac classic held annually in April.  

“It is through the goodwill of the Tasmanian public that allows Targa Tasmania to run annually by allowing us to close down their roads,” says McGuire. “We certainly don't want to push our luck with the event's most relevant supporters.”

Following Octagon's decision to terminate its involvement in the event, NEC ARC organiser Rallycorp have announced there will not be a Tasmanian round of the National super series in 2007.

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