Millionaire businessman buys into Triple Eight
By Mat Coch
Wednesday 3rd February, 2021 - 6:00am
Businessman and motorsport enthusiast Tony Quinn has become a major shareholder in Triple Eight Race Engineering.
The Scot has taken a 40 percent stake in the team, as Triple Eight co-founder Roland Dane scales back his involvement in the operation.
Dane’s stake in the team will reduce to 11 percent, Jessica Dane increasing her stake to 30 percent (from 27), and Jamie Whincup’s interest rising to 19 percent (from 15).
That mirrors a personnel restructure as Dane prepares to step back from his role as managing director and team principal at the end of 2021, with Whincup set to replace him.
“I’ve seen the category go through some fantastic times and also some very testing times,” said Quinn.
“Throughout, one team has consistently been where any passionate race team needs to be – winning.
“So Triple Eight was quite an easy choice. If I’m going to make a wise investment, make it in the best structured and managed team.
“As we know, there are management changes afoot; however, these have been carefully planned and the transition process is lengthy, allowing Jamie and Jessica appropriate time to adjust to their new roles.
“Both Roland and I are confident that the team will continue their winning ways, and I have absolute and unwavering trust.”
As part of the restructuring, both Paul Dumbrell and Tim Miles have sold their shareholdings to Quinn, but will share an alternate position on the Triple Eight board of directors.
A self-made millionaire, Quinn’s fortunes were made in the pet food industry, through VIP Petfoods, which he founded in the mid-1990s.
He purchased flagging confectionery company Darrell Lea in 2012 for a reported $25 million.
In 2015 he sold VIP Petfoods for a reported $410 million, and Darrell Lea in 2018 for $200 million.
Motorsport has been a fixture throughout much of his time in business, using it most latterly to market his Local Legends brand of beef jerky with Team Sydney.
Triple Eight has pointed out that those sponsorship arrangements remain separate to his shareholding with the organisation, and there are no plans for his other companies to have involvement with the squad.
Quinn also owns two racing circuits, Hampton Downs and Highlands Motorsport Park, the former of which was poised to host the New Zealand round of the Supercars Championship last year.
The latter is ostensibly a club circuit designed for members, with experiences aimed at tourists.
It has, however, hosted a number of larger scale events including rounds of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series and Australian GT (to which Quinn owned the commercial rights from 2011 to 2018).
Despite holding the single largest stake in Triple Eight, Quinn is not expected to be especially hands on.
“There’s an old saying, ‘too many cooks spoil a good soup’,” he said.
“The team will do a great job without my heavy involvement.
“In fact, one of the attractions to me was that I wouldn’t be required on a constant basis.
“Whenever my guidance is sought though, I’ll be available.”
Roland Dane added: “Tony is an excellent fit for Triple Eight – he shares our passion for racing and innovation.
“We were flattered that someone of Tony’s pedigree was interested in buying into our business and his approach has helped us to cement our business succession.
“He’ll certainly be an asset to the team and we’re delighted to welcome him onboard.”