Circuit owner Tony Quinn and grandson Ryder are confirmed for November’s Highlands Motorsport Park 6-Hour Enduro race. A third young gun driver is to be confirmed within days.
The spectacular and challenging circuit was the first in Quinn’s portfolio of Australasian race tracks and the big 6 Hour weekend will mark the 10th anniversary of the Cromwell facility.
The Quinn family team will drive Celtic Racing’s Porsche GT4 RS ClubSport in the big race and are hoping 2023 form at the track and in endurance racing will help put them near the front of the pack in what will be the first six-hour race solely for GT3 and GT4 type machinery in New Zealand motorsport history.
The car will have a team of three drivers, with the third driver – an up-and-coming young gun from the Australian racing scene – will be confirmed next week.
Ryder Quinn is another emerging talent and will be eager to get stuck into the Highlands track after excelling on his Castrol Toyota FR Oceania debut against international opposition at the start of the year, where he was one of the fastest around the unique layout.
Quinn Senior also has winning form currently, having taken overall honours earlier this year at another circuit in his portfolio – the Queensland Raceway – sharing the Porsche with Kiwi Kaleb Ngatoa.
Two second-place finishes and a win across the event’s three races were more than enough to secure round victory in the Australian GT4 Championship.
The pair have winning form in endurance racing, too, having raced together with Grant Denyer to win the Bathurst 6 Hour earlier this year in spectacular style, with Ryder making a race-winning pass on the final lap. The youngster is looking forward to another big weekend at Highlands.
“I can remember vividly watching the first Highlands 101 as an eight-year-old and watching my dad and Popeye racing there, so I only have fond memories,” he said. “It’s going to be great to get out there in the Porsche and see what we can do again over another tough six hour race. I’m very excited and looking forward to it very much.”
Senior in years to his young teammates he may be, but Tony himself is also relishing the opportunity. “I’m getting old now, but I’m always happy to drive with Ryder and, for this weekend, another outstanding young talent. In fact, it’s an honour to be in the team with them.
“They have raced against each other in the Carrera Cup and race fast and look after the car. I will do my part, but they’ll do most of the race and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m pretty confident we will go well in GT4, and you never know what might happen overall in a race of this duration.
“I won’t be doing the Le Mans run to the car, though, that much I can promise!”
Up to 32 GT3, GT4, and Open Class cars will take the start for the gruelling race, the first six-hour event for cars of this speed and sophistication in New Zealand.
Header Image: The team will run the Celtic Racing GT4 Porsche. Picture KEZW Photography
Words & Images: Supplied