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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.

Here Are The Top Five Reasons To Not Do A Targa Rally

5. You will become addicted

This is another big gap in the documentation from Targa Australia, nowhere does it warn you about this and it will be hard for many to avoid. Although, once you get a taste for the amazing twisty closed roads, being part of a large motorsport event, drooling over lots of cars, getting sore cheeks from smiling too much and getting that little taste of what race drivers get to enjoy….you will most likely become addicted and want to do it again. You’ve been warned!
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The Porsche Targa High Country Tour in a 718 Cayman GTS

Sports cars are designed to be driven hard. Foot to the floor, tyres gripping, the engine singing, and you don’t even glance at the speedometer. Try doing that on a public road, though, and say goodbye to your car and licence. But what if you could do all that legally? The Targa Australia rally series is just that.

CarAdvice was invited to the Porsche Targa High Country Tour this year to drive the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS around Mount Buller, Mansfield, and Eildon over three days.


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Now available for FREE Download: Targa Great Barrier Reef 2018 TV Show

Just over 2 months ago, we successfully completed the inaugural Targa Great Barrier Reef and now is your chance to re-live the event. The full Channel 9 TV Show is now available for FREE download & unlimited streaming to all devices.


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Targa Great Barrier Reef 2019 Early Bird closing soon *NOW CLOSED*

With our 200th entry just received, 2019 is looking at being bigger & better than 2018! The field will again be capped, so make sure you don’t miss out on being a part of all the excitement next year.


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