Quinn reveals lost $10 million plan for QR

A pre-season Supercars test day at Queensland Raceway

Tony Quinn has revealed he had a $10 million plan for Queensland Raceway, including changes to the track layout, which will not proceed due to John Tetley retaining ownership.

In April, Quinn had looked set to add Queensland Raceways business, which includes Lakeside Park, to his portfolio of race tracks in New Zealand after reaching a handshake agreement with Tetley.

That remained the case until the incumbent seemingly backflipped late last month, around a week before the two parties were due to sign contracts and thus make the deal official.

Tetley since promised to undertake upgrades of his own, but Quinn has now shared details of the scale of improvements he planned for the dilapidated Ipswich circuit.

“We had a $10 million budget to spend on the track and improve the facilities, everything from track extensions and different shapes of the tracks,” the self-made millionaire from Scotland told Ipswich News Today.

“There are quite a bit of disabled people that come out [to the track] for something to watch and the facilities are not very adequate for them and I was keen to do something about that.

“I think John has intentions of refurbishing it but think his idea of refurbishing is different to mine.”

Quinn has long been a prominent figure in Australian motorsport, being a former owner of the Australian GT Championship, the current owner of Aussie Racing Cars, and a gentleman competitor across an even wider array of categories.

He is also heavily involved in the Repco Supercars Championship, having acquired a 40 percent stake in Triple Eight Race Engineering in recent months while also holding naming rights backing of one of the Team Sydney cars through his Local Legends beef jerky brand.

Queensland Raceway was dropped from the touring car category’s calendar effective 2020 and, despite the only other permanent circuit in Greater Brisbane being sister facility Lakeside, there are no signs of a return anytime soon.

The Ipswich circuit does not meet the requisite FIA Grade 3 standard in its normal state, meaning temporary safety installations had to be undertaken to allow for Supercars events, and for the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships on the following weekend, to take place.

Supercars may well have become a regular presence again, with Quinn reiterating that he had talks with the championship about coming back to Ipswich.

“Everybody was waiting for the moment to happen and I had already had discussions with V8 Supercars for them to come back and what that would mean and what that would take,” he added.

Tetley had told Speedcafe.com just yesterday that he did not change his mind about the sale, claiming the deal “had flaws from the start that only became more obvious as we proceeded with the diligence process.”

While not necessarily addressing that specific point, Quinn has given a contrasting account of those events.

“We were supposed to have a signing transaction ceremony on the first of July and at the very last minute he changed his mind,” he recounted.

“To be fair when you do a handshake deal with somebody and the price doesn’t change… We did not change it and we made it very easy for the vender, there was nothing tricky at all and we made it as easy as we could possibly make it for the transition.”

Supercars will race in Queensland this weekend and the next, on Townsville’s Reid Park Street Circuit on both occasions, and return for the Gold Coast 500 in December.

The Motorsport Australia Championships is due to visit the Sunshine State for a round at Warwick’s Morgan Park, around two hours from Brisbane by road, in mid-August.

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