Dunga Derby scrutineer Leigh Staunton.
Dunga Derby scrutineer Leigh Staunton. Alistair Brightman

En route for charity: 53 cars checked for safety on Sunday

ORGANISERS of the third annual Dunga Derby have their list ready and will be checking it twice this Sunday.

All eyes will be on the 53 cars, ensuring they are safe before heading off on the 1500km adventure from August 3-6 - and hopefully with no major breakdowns.

Route planning co-ordinator Leigh Staunton said it is compulsory for all the dungas to head down to the Hervey Bay RSL carpark from 2pm, where officials will give the teams a tick of approval if all safety requirements are met.

Mr Staunton said it was the team's responsibility to make sure the cars - which are mostly over 10 years old and valued at less than $2000 - are in a roadworthy state.

Beyond that, he said the vehicles must be fitted with a rotating and flashing light, visible from the rear and on dusty tracks, a 40 channel UHF radio to use when there's no phone reception, and front and rear towing points affixed to the chassis.

"We are doing more than just traversing the Bruce Highway... we are going down rocky and gravel roads," he said.

 

Dunga Derby scrutineer Leigh Staunton.
Dunga Derby scrutineer Leigh Staunton. Alistair Brightman

"The other thing is to make sure they have water with them in case of a break down and we also recommend some upgrades to the vehicle like under-body protection, off-road tyres and suspension.

"We will have a general look over all the vehicles and make sure everything is secured properly.

"We have seen roof racks secured with tek screws before, but we got that sorted out."

The Dunga Derby - Coast to Country is the Rally For A Cause charity's biggest annual fundraising event.

Most of the teams have spent at least one year preparing their cars for this event.

 

Dunga Derby scrutineer Leigh Staunton.
Dunga Derby scrutineer Leigh Staunton. Alistair Brightman

In previous years, teams have raised more than $300,000, with funds going to assist about 20 Fraser Coast families and individuals affected by life-limiting medical conditions.

"It's a long process and a lot goes into it," Mr Staunton said.

"But the satisfaction of the event going off without any issues, and at the end of it, sitting down and saying look at what we have achieved, and seeing the money we have raised, makes it all worthwhile.

"All the money will go back into the community and help those that need assistance."

 

CHECK LIST: Safety is paramount as Dunga Derby scrutineer Leigh Staunton ensures all 53 cars are up to scratch before August 3.
CHECK LIST: Safety is paramount as Dunga Derby scrutineer Leigh Staunton ensures all 53 cars are up to scratch before August 3. Alistair Brightman

Mr Staunton remained tight-lipped about the route of the Dunga Derby, but he strongly urged entrants pack their winter woollies.

"Word is starting to get out. But all we are saying is that we are going north, then going west," he said.

"We like to try and keep it a bit of a secret and keep a bit of excitement going, but we do recommend that they pack warm clothes."

For more information on the Dunga Derby - Coast to Country, or to nominate a recipient for the Rally for a Cause charity, please go to www.rallyforacause.org.au.

WHAT'S ON

Dunga departure

  • The Dungas will leave for at 7am on Thursday, August 3 from the Hervey Bay RSL.
  • There will be an outside broadcast by Radio HIT 101.9.

Dunga homecoming

  • Fraser Coast residents are invited to head down to Seafront Oval on Sunday, August 6 and welcome the Dunga Derby teams home.
  • The festivities will start at noon, with a barbecue and entertainment.
  • The dungas will travel from Urangan and cruise the Esplanade until they reach Seafront Oval.

Come along and show your support for the weary travellers.



What Bay whale rescuers need urgently

premium_icon What Bay whale rescuers need urgently

Expert wants would-be rescuers geared up

'We need whale rescue': Call for Bay to step up

premium_icon 'We need whale rescue': Call for Bay to step up

'I don't want to lose a whale, not to bureaucracy or protectionism'