Following in the ski tracks of his Snowmobile Racing Hall of Fame father, Jerry Bunke, Gabe has achieved success in every form of racing he has attempted over a 16-year career. Like his father, who was an integral member of the legendary Polaris Midnight Blue Express of the 1970's, Gabe has achieved great success in the snowmobile racing world.
Hometown: Moorhead, MN
Family: Wife Thora and children Taylor, Boe, and Britta
Occupation: Racer, race team owner, construction, custom ag work
Racing Debut: 1996
# of Career Starts: 103
Top 10 Finishes: 80
Top 5 Finishes: 56
Podium Finishes: 22
USCC Pro Open Points Champion: 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2006-2007, 2007-2008
USCC Pro Stock Points Champion: 2006-2007
Soo I-500 Enduro Winner: 2002, 2005, and 2012
Special Awards: Gabe was the 2009 Recipient of the USCC Iron Man Award, and the Bunke Racing was the 2010-2011 recipient of the USCC Sportsmanship Award
Following in the ski tracks of his Racing Hall of Fame father, Jerry Bunke, Gabe has achieved success in every form of racing he has attempted over a 16-year racing career.
Like his father, who was an integral member of the legendary Polaris Midnight Blue Express, Gabe has achieved great success on ice ovals, winning the Soo I-500 three times. But Gabe has achieved his greatest success on the unforgiving terrain of Upper Midwest cross-country race circuits.
Gabe is a four-time United States Cross Country Snowmobile Racing Assn. (USCC) Pro Open points champion and he won the Pro Stock title in 2006-2007. Most impressively, he was honored after the 2008-2009 season with the USCC Iron Man Award for having racing in every USCC event since the circuit was founded. He maintains that streak heading into the 2012-2013 season.
A loyal, lifelong Polaris racer, Gabe spend time during the 2010-2011 season helping Polaris develop its revolutionary RUSH snowmobile platform as a cross-country race sled. Experimenting with new components and trying various setups on the PRO-RIDE Chassis, Gabe sacrificed some race-to-race success to work on the long-term betterment of the RUSH sled and the Polaris brand.
Gabe achieved a new level of success as a team owner. He added Bobby menne and Spencer Kadlec to the Pro classes. Jeff Klein is on board racing in the Semi-Pro classes. Jen Fuller has been a great addition to the Bunke Race team in the Pro Women’s and Sport 600 classes. New this year is Taylor Bunke running in the Sport 600 class. The future of Bunke racing is getting bigger and brighter with each race season.
Bunke Racing has entered two sleds in the demanding 2011 and 2012 Soo I-500. Gabe Bunke and Aaron Christensen coming away with fourth in 2011 and the Victory for 2012. The #2 Bunke Race sled, driven by the Faust brothers; Ryan and Travis and Jeff Klein in 2011 did a phenomenal job, muscling their sled to a solid 5th place finish in 2011 and a 7th place finish in 2012. Bunke Racing will Field 2 sleds this season at the Soo I-500 held on February 2, 2013.