Vale Tony Seymour 6/4/1963 to 27/4/2022
By Darryl Ringuet.
For those that didn’t know Tony was tragically killed in an accident on the Mt Roland stage of Targa Tasmania this year. My son Mitchell and I met Tony and Sandra in 2017 on a Paul Stokell Targa Tasmania Tour. As was the case with everyone who met him it was hard not to like him. He had a quiet nature with a cutting wit. He could size you up in a very short time then make you laugh at your own shortcomings without offending you.
Over the last 5 years we all continued our Targa Journey together, I drove thousands and thousands of kilometers in convoy with them towing our cars to events. Some of my most cherished memories of Tony were the hours we spent talking on handsfree.
First I will list his Targa participation and results over that period of time.
Targa Tasmania tour
Targa High Country tour
Targa Tasmania Tour
Targa High Country Tour
Targa Great Barrier Reef 4th in GT Sports Trophy
Targa North West 1st in GT Sports Trophy
Targa Tasmania 3rd in GT Sports Trophy
Targa Great Barrier Reef 2nd in GTST
Targa High Country 2nd in GT Sports Trophy
Targa GT Sports Trophy National
Targa Great Barrier Reef GT Outright DNF
Adelaide Rally Modern Competition 8th
Targa High Country GT Outright 7th
Adelaide Rally Modern Competition 8th
Targa Tasmania Rookie Rallye 2nd
Targa High Country GT Outright 5th
I have to say his favorite stage in every Targa was the street stage.
He was always at the pointy end of the field in street stages winning all of the GT Sports Trophy class ones he ran. He was often in the top five of outright in street stages, even when he was in the speed restricted class.
I would always joke it showed a history of a mis-spent youth, Tony would just give me a wry smile. At his funeral his brother told a story of when Tony was 14 in South Africa he convinced David, and one of his mates to take their stepdad’s car for a spin around the block. Apparently they got into a lot of trouble with this escapade. I knew it.
Another story was when he and his brother, and friends would ride their motorbikes down a huge hill lying flat on the seat to reduce drag to see who could get the highest speed.
He was ultra competitive in that he always wanted to improve how he performed in a sport, and never to the detriment of his fellow competitors. He played off 1 at Brookwater, one of the hardest golf courses in Australia.
I can tell you all that I have never seen him happier than when he was at a Targa. He loved them with a passion.
Here is a link to a video that was put together by Ben at Otherside Productions of Tony at Targa Events. My words can’t do justice to how much joy they brought him, but his can.
Not only did he love Targa, he also loved track work. He went to almost all of Paul Stokell’s track days, Never missed an “All Lotus Track day”, and was a regular fixture at every Qld Supersprint event at Morgan Park.
He particularly loved the Bathurst track days and I would like to thank all of the Simply Sports Cars people who made the Parade lap of Bathurst for Tony a reality, he would have been bemused, but honored. It was humbling to be part of such a great tribute.
I can honestly say he was one of a kind and I don’t know of anyone that got to know him that didn’t like him.
Hope you are up there driving perfect laps, and playing perfect rounds of golf. I will always miss him, and every time I get on a race track I know he will be looking down saying “Come on Bugalugs, you can do better than that”
Love you buddy, we will all miss you. You may be gone, but will never be forgotten.
By Paul Stokell.
Eight years ago Tony approached me about doing some 1 to 1 coaching with him. Tony’s driving skills progressed quickly and our ongoing connection resulted in him joining our Targa Tasmania Tour.
That was it, he and Sandra were hooked and fell in love with Tarmac Rallying. The progression to competition was inevitable and from novice beginnings they became a “team” with Sandra in the navigators seat.
Tony for me was much more than a customer. He supported my efforts to win the ultimate prize and we spent quite a few hours on the phone discussing his progression. Our cars were almost identical, so modifications I did eventually found their way onto his car.
His payback was to share his love of golf. He regularly invited me out to Brookwater where his skills way outshone mine… revenge I think! On the golf course he was bloody talented, but he always came packed with a huge bag of golf balls which at first fascinated me. When I asked him about it he said they were for me because he made it clear he wasn’t wasting time looking off the fairway for any of my wayward shots.
His death has been devastating and hard to accept but I rest easy knowing he died doing something he truly loved, rallying.
A South African gentleman called Tony
By Chris Jordan.
In 2014 we fitted our first SSC supercharger upgrade on a four cylinder Lotus Exige for an English doctor. In 2015 the doctor had to move back to the UK for work. He sold the little yellow rocket ship to a South African gentleman called Tony. That was the start of a relationship between Automotion and Tony Seymour that took us to Tasmania, Bathurst, Cairns and a lot of other fun places and times in between.
Tony was easy to get along with and was enthusiastic to do what he could to get the most out of the car from word go. The little Exige got pretty much every upgrade known to man! He would see something online or hear about it, chat to me to understand what the benefits were and more often than not we would end up bolting it to the car.
When he ran out of upgrades to do to the car he would then start adding decals, wrapping sections of the car or powdercoating things. He loved upgrading the look of the car as well as how it went on the track. We must have stripped and rebuilt his brake calipers at least half a dozen times over the years so they could be powdercoated various colours!
For Tony and Automotion this work continued until there was pretty much nothing left to do on the four cylinder car. By this time Tony and Sandra had started entering Targa events, along with their good mates Darryl and Mitchel Ringuet (in a very similar four cylinder Exige). Tony and Sandra became a formidable force on the Targa scene.
I had the pleasure of service crewing for Tony a number of times. When Tony was behind the wheel he was 100% focused. As soon as he got out of the car he was the most chilled guy I knew! If you gave him a nudge he’d tip over backwards, he was so laid back.
Life for the four cylinder engine was hard with a fair amount of horsepower and lots of track and bitumen rally work. After the second engine rebuild Sandra gave Tony the ‘OK’ to step out of the four cylinder and into a V6 Exige.
In 2018 we started the upgrade and modification cycle again… shocks, brakes, LSD, roll cage, calipers (powdercoating of course), different springs, wheels… the list went on. If you could upgrade it, Tony would upgrade it, if you could powdercoat it, Tony would powdercoat it.
Tony’s good friend and general partner in crime, Darryl, also got a V6 at around the same time. If one did something to their car, the other would normally follow fairly quickly. Sometimes Tony would hear about something, we would discuss its merits, then he would say “don’t tell Buggerlugs” (aka Darryl), with a grin. A day later Darryl would call me and tell me he and Tony had ordered one each and we need to book the cars in before the next event. That’s how it went!
In 2020 at Targa Great Barrier Reef, Tony and Sandra stepped into the big league, the GT Outright category. Tony loved it and drove the wheels off the Lotus. Tony and Sandra were up there with the big boys and girls (big budget, big horsepower cars) until a nasty dip in the road sent them spearing into a large bush on the side of the road. I remember pulling huge piles of vegetation out of the front grill of the car as the tow truck slowly pulled the car out of the bushes, Tony looking on with a wry grin on his face “it’ll polish out”, Sandra shaking her head. Typical Tony.
The car went back to Brisbane, we repaired it and got it ready for the track again. That’s when Tony changed the colour to the ‘Acid Green’ everyone will have gotten used to over the past couple of years. He knew how to make a statement! Everyone loved the look of the car, it stood out in a crowd while Tony stood off to the side, sunnies on, cracking a dry joke with someone.
Even though we were regularly prepping and sorting things on the car, Tony never put any pressure to get the job done. He was easy going and kind and always quick to crack a joke with his super dry wit. Whenever we crewed for Tony he would always go out of his way to make sure everyone was included and felt welcome, a true gent. He was a great guy to work for.
Tony was funny, quiet, considerate, always calm and collected and he will be sorely missed by the Automotion family.