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3 September, 2021

Motorsport Royalty Tackling TARGA

TARGA has always attracted motor sport royalty, from Dick Johnson, Jim Richards, Greg Crick and this year TARGA Great Barrier Reef with feature Australian rally legends the Dunkerton family.

By Peter McCullagh

As a family they are no strangers to all aspects of racing, from designing and building their own cars, tweaking, and tuning for optimum performance, through to pushing the limits in racing.

This weekend, this racing family who now call Cairns home, will participate in two categories of TARGA Great Barrier Reef.

Lisa and Ross will lead the Tour event of Targa Great Barrier Reef 2021. Ross Dunkerton is a five-time CAMS Australian Rally Champion, recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2018, dual Asia-Pacific Rally Champion, Southern Cross Rally winner in 1980, and instrumental in the Australian bid to lobby the FIA for a round of the World Rally Championship in 1987.

He was awarded life membership of CAMS in 2011, inducted into the Australian Rally Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame in 2016.

So, fair to say, he is right at home on and off the road and behind the wheel.

Lisa Dunkerton is a former state champion and multiple event winner in her own right. Together they will be a formidable team.

Their 29-year-old son, Aaron Dunkerton is a local barrister and notable legal professional. His brother Flynn, 21, is a fourth-year apprentice electrician.

Aaron will be flanked by the very experienced navigator and current Queensland Champion Co Driver, Alan Stean, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8, in the 4WD Early Modern division.

Flynn will be driving with navigator Shane Moes, competing in the TSD division, (Time Speed Distance).

Shane, a director of the locally owned Autobarn Cairns and Smithfield stores, who are sponsoring Team Dunkerton for the third year running.

Flynn Dunkerton will be driving a unique Subaru WRX 2.5 litre hybrid, personally designed and built by himself, the only one of its kind in the world today.

While Ross Dunkerton refers to Shane as ‘a natural’, Shane is focused on the maths of navigation; “My job is to ensure I map out the time, speed and distance right; so that we have the opportunity to compete again next year.”

Now in its fourth year, the TARGA Great Barrier Reef event has been embraced internationally as one of the most spectacular racing events, providing drivers of all kinds, usually from all corners of the globe, with an opportunity to test their vehicles and their driving skills on some of the most notoriously challenging roads in beautiful north Queensland.


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