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