Don Hunte

Don Hunte

The only driver to win the ‘old-style’ June Rally four times

Imaginative creator of competition vehicles, many Volkswagen-based, Don Hunte is not only a brilliant engineer, but a dab hand as a driver. He started racing karts at age 14, since when race and rally cars, karts, even dirt-track bikes have featured in his varied repertoire.

Brother of Wendy, very useful kart racer and future wife of Bizzy Williams, Hunte was raised in a house where motor sport was an interest; their father Orme competed in the June Rally in the early 1960s, and the siblings were closely-involved at the start of Bushy Park . . . Hunte raced the VW-based special ‘Foolishness’, Bizzy’s first racing machine, in 1971, while Wendy was Secretary of the Meeting. By the time the circuit closed in 1975, he had been a regular race-winner and lap record holder, both in a VW Beetle – ‘Herbie’ was famed for its superb traction off the start-line – and in Owen Deane’s Vauxhall Viva GT.

With circuit racing at an end, Hunte was ready for the next chapter of his exploits, rallying – in a successful partnership with navigator and fellow Club committee member Garry Clarke, Hunte won a number of major events: the June Rally in 1979 and ’80 in a Skoda Estelle, the Mintex 150 International Rally in 1982 in another VW Beetle, which they then took to Trinidad and finished second in the Dunlop 1000 International. Between times, there were class wins in speed events, in a Suzuki SS80.

Having been absent from a number of June Rallies in the 1980s, Hunte reappeared with a new partner, Wayne ‘Mork’ Clark, already an accomplished navigator; after a couple of outings in yet another VW Bug, they appeared in 1991 in a Hyundai Excel Turbo, in which Hunte notched up his third June Rally win. In 1993, he was the Club’s Champion Driver and became the first driver to win the event four times (Richard Rose won four as navigator) and remains the only one to do so before the onset of four-wheel-drive.

And he didn’t stop there . . . he won his class in the driver’s championship again in 1998 in a Hyundai Excel, the same year that he claimed his second class win on the Texaco, co-driven by Kelly-Ann Proverbs. Hunte has been active as a scrutineer for some years, but his main focus of attention these days is to further the career of son Orrie, who has become one of the top racers in the Barbados Karting Association, with four championships to his credit.

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