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Team Tander and Quinn win

10 November, 2014

 

Tony Quinn and Garth Tander win the Highlands 101 endurance race

Tony Quinn achieved one of the objectives he’d set himself for last weekend’s Highlands 101 race meeting when he and Garth Tander won the endurance race at Highlands Motorsport Park in dramatic fashion. As Quinn told us prior to the November 7–9 event he had his sights set on both the Highlands 101 race win and the Australian GT Championship title, and while he failed to eclipse Richard Muscat in the race to the Championship, a last-minute turn of luck saw him come up trumps on track.

The pair were coming second right up until the very last lap, following behind Richard Muscat and Craig Baird’s Mercedes-Benz, which had been in the lead for more than 90 laps of the 101-lap race. The Mercedes-Benz ran out of fuel only a few metres from the finish line meaning Quinn and Tander could pass them into first place.

When questioned about the last lap of the race Tander said, “The guys radioed me to say keep an eye out for the Merc, it’s going really slow. Coming out of the hairpin going up to the bridge, it wasn’t going at all, so I was yee-hahing on the radio as I went past and that was it. We were actually battling the Merc quite a bit after the earlier pit stop and we were close to going a lap down, but by staying on the lead lap and keeping the pressure on them, they pitted a lap before we did and that was the difference to buy us enough fuel to the line.”

During the 101 laps, Tander managed to break the Australian GT class lap record three times giving him a new lap record of one minute and 31.716 seconds. The same Aston Martin Vantage GT3 was used that Quinn previously won the inaugural Highlands 101 last year, with Fabian Coulthard, as well as taking out the Phillips Island 101 earlier this year with Tander. The weekend’s win marks a record-making three-peat of 101 race wins in Australian GT racing. 

 

Becoming fond of Fords part two – happy times with Escorts

In part one of this Ford-flavoured trip down memory lane I recalled a sad and instructive episode when I learned my shortcomings as a car tuner, something that tainted my appreciation of Mk2 Ford Escort vans in particular. Prior to that I had a couple of other Ford entanglements of slightly more redeeming merit. There were two Mk1 Escorts I had got my hands on: a 1972 1300 XL belonging to my father and a later, end-of-line, English-assembled 1974 1100, which my partner and I bought from Panmure Motors Ford in Auckland in 1980. Both those cars were the high water mark of my relationship with the Ford Motor Co. I liked the Mk1 Escorts. They were nice, nippy, small cars, particularly the 1300, which handled really well, and had a very precise gearbox for the time.
Images of Jim Richards in the Carney Racing Williment-built Twin Cam Escort and Paul Fahey in the Alan Mann–built Escort FVA often loomed in my imagination when I was driving these Mk1 Escorts — not that I was under any illusion of comparable driving skills, but they had to be having just as much fun as I was steering the basic versions of these projectiles.

Fear and loathing the blue oval – part one

The slogan went something like ‘There’s a Ford in your future’. ‘Bugger off!’ were always the words that sprung to my mind. Ford and I have never really got on in the manner of many of my friends, so I’d say my relationship to the brand was distant. The accelerating blur of passing time has helpfully blanketed memories of a few Ford encounters which I probably wanted to forget but I have to admit, now I look at them, they are re-appearing through the mists of time. What comes to mind more readily, to quote some uncharitable wit, is that the letters Ford could stand for ‘fix or repair daily’. Still, I have to ’fess up, there were several Fords in my past.