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Cairns mechanic signs up for dream race

Taking part in Targa Great Barrier Reef is more than just a race for Cairns mechanic Shane Buchanan. 

It’s a labour of love. He has spent the past four months rebuilding his 1983 Mitsubishi Starion from the ground up especially for the event.

Cairns mechanic Shane Buchanan working on his 1983 Mitsubishi Starion in his Bungalow workshop that he will be driving in upcoming Targa Great Barrier Reef rally

“It’s been stripped down to the bare shell and rebuilt,” he said.

He will be racing in the GT sports trophy category of the event and has built the car to comply with the rules and regulation of the class.

Coming from a background of dirt racing, the Far North Queensland Targa meet will be Mr Buchanan’s first major race on bitumen.

“I have always been involved in motorsports and been racing up here the last three years with the Khanacross. The opportunity came when it (Targa Great Barrier Reef) was released and I thought ‘it’s now or never’,” he said.

“I’ve always wanted to do Targa Tasmania but that’s quite a big financial impact.” With three weeks until the big race, Mr Buchanan is putting finishing touches on his car.

“I’m looking forward to getting the car finished … we’ve got quite a bit to still do but everything is falling into place,” he said.

“Every nut and bolt has been undone and either replaced or refurbished.”

Throughout the race he will be joined by young Mossman driver, Heath Barry who will be his navigator. The 16-year-old is the youngest navigator to be part of the event.

Targa Tasmania 2019 Spectator Guide

With more than 33 competitive stages covering an overall total distance of 2000km, there are a veritable endless choice of spectator vantage points at Targa Tasmania from April 29 to May 4.

As the time-honoured tarmac rally sweeps the length and breadth of the state, we have compiled an exhaustive Spectator’s Guide that covers everything you need to know to help you safely enjoy the event.


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