Quinn calls for stronger leadership from Supercars

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Tony Quinn believes Supercars needs stronger leadership based on the championship’s commercial direction this year.

In today’s episode of the KTM Summer Grill, the Triple Eight Race Engineering co-owner spoke out on the current state of play in the Repco Supercars Championship.

The category will welcome in the Gen3 era next season with a 12-round calendar, one event less than 2022, and the minimum number required under its broadcast deals.

What has been a contentious topic is the new generation of cars, with teams faced with a busy off-season to complete the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang builds.

“When you’re the leader of a business it’s got to be positive,” said Quinn on the KTM Summer Grill.

“The thing that I have noticed this year — and I’m talking commercially not from a sport point of view — there hasn’t been anybody that has stood up there and that’s spruiked the business this year.

“It’s all been — in my opinion — a little bit negative.

“The calendar was a long time coming out, without explanation; there hasn’t been a lot of communication amongst the whole group.

“I think we could have done a better job of selling the sizzle.

“The sausage is a sausage, but we could have done a better job of selling the sizzle.”

Supercars appointed a new CEO at the start of this year in Shane Howard, who has been a part of the organisation for more than 20 years.

The championship also came under new ownership in late 2021, with Racing Australia Consolidated Enterprises Ltd (RACE) taking over, led by Chairman Barclay Nettlefold.

“I think that’s what it has been lacking,” said Quinn when the question of leadership was put to him.

“Everybody has had an opinion, and there has been — in my opinion — too many people having an opinion.

“Look at the amount of times the cars have changed — as long as the cars are the same for everybody, it’s the same game.

“We’ll never satisfy everybody, but I think we could have saved a fair bit of money and time had we said ‘this is what we’ve got’.”

The absence of a Supercars round in New Zealand next year is perhaps one that is close to Quinn’s heart given he is the owner of Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, tipped to be the favourite as a replacement for Pukekohe Park Raceway.

Quinn spoke widely of the importance of an event across the ditch.

“This is my personal view — and I’m going to get blown up or whatever — I think RACE have got a few things to think about for the future,” he commented.

“They’re restricted to 12 rounds at this time but I think that can be negotiated around.

“New Zealand is so important, it’s just crazy to even not go there, but they can’t go there in August — that’s just stupid.

“They need to rearrange the calendar; they should no longer be air freighting the cars there, there’s no need to air freight the cars.

“If you plan well ahead, you can sea freight them, organise them, sea freight them back home — there’s no issue with that at all.

“That would save them a million bucks a year.

“They go to Tasmania and they go across the water to go to Tasmania; there are 400,000 people in Tasmania and it’s a good round, I love Tasmania.

“But to be fair, New Zealand, commercially, is probably far more important to them.

“I’m not here to tell them what to do, but I think they have to look at their future business commercially.”

Notably, when the idea of an event in Singapore was recently re-floated, Supercars CEO Howard ruled out the use of sea freight, for that round at least, due to the “risks” involved.

CLICK HERE to watch the full KTM Summer Grill episode with Tony Quinn.

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