Ready for the crit­ics

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

De­spite spend­ing more than $20 mil­lion and hun­dreds of hours per­fect­ing the High­lands Mo­tor­sport Park in Cromwell, owner and pet food ty­coon Tony Quinn is pre­pared for the crit­i­cism the park’s open­ing on Easter week­end may bring. Con­struc­tion of the 88-hectare devel­op­ment, with a 4.2km track, be­gan about nine months ago and once fin­ished it will be com­plete with a ve­hi­cle test­ing and spe­cial­ist driver cen­tre, mo­tor- sport mu­seum, go-kart track, mini-golf course and a restau­rant, The Nose, which opened ear­lier this month. ‘‘I’m sure there will be peo­ple who will crit­i­cise it and say we could have done that bet­ter or this could have been done dif­fer­ently,’’ Mr Quinn said. But that hasn’t stopped him walking the track most morn­ings with a pad and pen­cil and mak­ing his own ad­just­ments to the park. It has been a ‘‘plea­sur­able

chal­lenge’’ build­ing the park and it’s some­thing ‘‘ we all should be proud of’’, Mr Quinn said. He praised the work of con­trac­tors work­ing on the project who had ‘‘risen to the chal­lenge’’. ‘‘I’m really pleased with the ef­fort and ethic. They want their work to be qual­ity. They have done bet­ter then the Aussies would have done,’’ he said. The mu­seum at the park was also some­thing spe­cial. ‘‘There is such a lot of good kind souls that have done well in­ter­na­tion­ally and need to be recog­nised,’’ he said. Mu­seum cu­ra­tor Al­lan Dick, a former mo­tor­sport jour­nal­ist, said the mu­seum would dis­play 30 rac­ing cars and mem­o­ra­bilia ex­hi­bi­tions in­clud­ing pho­to­graphs, books, tro­phies, driver’s gloves, hel- mets and driv­ing suits. It would be some­thing that would cause peo­ple to stop in Cromwell in­stead of pass­ing through, Mr Dick said. How­ever, he was more op­ti­mistic of how the park would be re­ceived when it was opened. ‘‘When it’s fin­ished, with­out a doubt in my mind, it will be one of the best in the world,’’ he said. Ear­lier this month the park hosted about 800 mem­bers of the pub­lic on guided tours to al­low them to have an up­close look at the track and its con­struc­tion. The first of­fi­cial race at the site, which has con­sent for 16 race days a year, is ex­pected to take place in Novem­ber.

Photo: CHE BAKER 627524277

Check­ing it out: High­lands Mo­tor­sport Park en­thu­si­asts set off for a guided walk of the track last week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.