A turf war has broken out in the sport of tarmac rallying, with Targa series organiser, Octagon Australia, writing directly to competitors to “clarify some inaccurate statements published this week” by rival organiser Mountain Motorsports in a letter to its database.

The Australian Targa Championship - which starts with Supaloc Classic Targa Adelaide in September, and includes Targa High Country in Mansfield and Mt Buller in November, Targa Wrest Point in Hobart in January and Targa Tasmania in April – has recently signed a three year deal with the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS), after four years of running under the auspices of the Australian Auto Sport Alliance (AASA).

Mountain Motorsport, who have organised a number of sprint events in the past including at Mt Buller and Lake Mountain, wrote to its database saying: “The shock switch back to CAMS by Targa organiser’s Octagon has left many competitors without the means to compete. Vehicle modifications made under AASA regulations that will now not be legal under CAMS; higher entry fees; difficult scrutiny procedures and new license requirements are only a few considerations that have sparked heated discussions in the tarmac rally community.”

In response, Targa series director, Mark Perry, has hit back in an open letter to all tarmac rally enthusiasts saying: “It is disappointing to read what can only be construed as misleading information in an attempt to create fear amongst our customer base.

“As stated in the accompanying information supplied by us with the announcement of a return to CAMS, we have clearly stated that the 2011 Targa Technical Regulations utilised under the AASA would remain in place under CAMS and I confirm that these have always been our regulations accepted by the AASA,” Perry wrote.

The history of all tarmac rally regulations date back to the early years of Targa Tasmania.”

 “They are not AASA regulations and were not influenced or altered by the AASA in any way during the four years that Targa events were operated with the AASA.

Perry emphasized that “Allowable vehicle modifications” were not made by, or under, the AASA, they were made by Octagon.

“If your car was eligible to compete in the Australian Targa Championship in 2010/2011 it WILL still be eligible to compete under CAMS in 2011/2012.”

The issue of pricing was also directly addressed by Octagon.

“Our entry fees for the 2012 Targa Tasmania have been reduced by $450 or more to accommodate a return to an accredited FIA licence structure that is recognised worldwide so you WON’T pay more.

“The entry fee for the Supaloc Classic Targa Adelaide is up to $2,000 cheaper than the old Classic Adelaide. Targa High Country is cheaper than the old Mt. Buller Sprint and Targa Wrest Point continues to offer a sub $2,000 entry fee as it did when introduced and initially run in 2009 with the AASA.”

Perry said that Octagon had not announced any changes to the scrutineering at our events as they are yet to run an event under the new CAMS deal.

“We see no major changes that will cause competitors grief, but we will provide a level playing field.

“Plus, the CAMS licence requirement to compete in any of our Targa events is identical to the AASA system and the CAMS licence will be valid for one year from the date of purchase, not a calendar year.”

“In summary, the facts are all out there and easy to find. I hope this has clarified what was highly misleading information.

“We will also continue to deliver international standard motor sport events recognised around the world in line with Octagon’s standing as a leader in sporting events and marketing, and will put these events on when and where we say we will, with a level of safety unparalleled anywhere in the world today.”

Mountain Sports have in recent times cancelled a number of their scheduled events. 
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