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Quinn aims for two Highlands 101 victories with Tander

2 November, 2014

With this year’s Highlands 101 endurance race meeting being held this weekend, November 8–9, at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell, Tony Quinn has paired up with renowned V8 Supercars driver, and three-times Bathurst 1000 winner, Garth Tander, as he seeks both the Highlands 101 race win and the Australian GT Championship (AGT) title.

Tony Quinn (L) and Garth Tander will be pairing up for the Highlands 101 endurance race

Quinn, the Highlands Motorsport Park owner, is the only winner of the two 101-format races run to date, and will be driving the same six-litre V12 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Tander is looking forward to Highlands 101, and parity afforded by the 101-format, saying, “When the ‘pro’ drivers like me compete, we can’t just come in and dominate, which is nice. It’s a bit like having a golf handicap.”

Tony Quinn and Fabian Coulthard winning a previous Highlands 101 

Quinn is also in a strong position to secure the AGT title, sitting a mere 32 points behind current leader Richard Muscat. With Muscat enlisting Craig Baird as his co-driver, the competition in this final round of this AGT series has really ramped up, ensuring the weekend’s going to be one to watch. Highlands 101 takes place at Highlands Motorsport Park over the weekend of November 8–9. Tickets are available online from TicketDirect, or at the gate during the race weekend. 

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.