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Lucky 13 for Outback Car Trek


The two brothers behind one of Australia's most successful fruit growing enterprises – Piñata Farms – aim to raise $15,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service driving "lucky" Car 13 in the 25th anniversary of the Outback Car Trek in June.

Gavin and Stephen Scurr with the Outback Car Trek vehicle, Roy the HG

Queensland-based Piñata Farms' managing director Gavin Scurr and north Queensland operations manager, Stephen Scurr, will join the rally from June 2-13 to raise funds to support the work of the RFDS in remote and regional Australia.

Driving Car 13 – a 1971 HG Holden panel van also known as Roy the HG – for Team Piñata Farms, they aim to raise $15,000 through both corporate sponsorships and a social media fundraising campaign.

"Car 13 has been through a few treks and raised some good funds in the past and we really wanted to retain that special number, hoping we can continue the fundraising luck," Gavin Scurr said.

Participants in the 12-day car trek will journey from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory on June 2 to the Margaret River region of Western Australia via Broome, arriving on June 13 – a distance of 6,250 kilometres.

Driving pre-1978 2WD vehicles, rally participants will traverse some of the most remote and rugged territory in Australia in their quest to raise funds for the iconic Australian charity. Roy the HG has been mechanically prepared to withstand the rigours of outback dirt road driving.

Realising a life-long dream

"Taking part in the trek is something we've always wanted to do and we hope this is just the first of many. It's a fun way to see parts of Australia many people never get to see while fundraising for a great cause," Gavin Scurr said.

"The RFDS provides an invaluable service for regional Australia – saving many, many lives a year. We are privileged to be involved in this event and to be able to contribute.

"As we have farms in every mainland state except South Australia, including Katherine and Mataranka in the Northern Territory, we have an affinity with rural Australia and are keenly aware of the need for such a service in remote locations. We have also had occasion to call on the RFDS in the past, so it's our chance to give something back."

More than $22 million raised in trek history

The trek has become the largest single fundraising venture for the RFDS each year and, in its history, has raised more than $22 million. As a condition of entry, cars must donate a minimum of $7,500.

Before they begin the trek, Gavin and Stephen, based at Wamuran and Mareeba respectively, will first drive from Wamuran to Alice Springs, leaving on May 28. They will share the driving and navigating roles throughout the trek.

Renowned for its off-road antics and fundraising activities throughout the trek, the event kicks off with a traditional Cut-A-Rama haircut night in Alice Springs on June 1. The next day, the trek will leave from the RFDS base at Alice Springs Airport, arriving at Geographe Bay in the Margaret River region on June 13.

After the trek, Roy the HG will be transported back to Brisbane where it will be repaired in readiness for the Scurr brothers to take part in the 2015 trek.