Tony Quinn launches fast-paced 'Twenty20' motorsport format in NZ
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Motorsport’s version of Rugby Sevens and Twenty20 Cricket is set to be launched at the Laser Plumbing & Electrical Hampton Downs 500 on October 28-29.
Fast & Furious Racing is a brand new concept developed by Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn. The goal is to deliver short, action-packed races that give spectators and drivers alike more bang for their buck.
The 3x3 format will see cars line up on the grid for the race start as per usual. The twist is that after three laps, the cars will come together behind a safety car for a rolling restart and another three-lap sprint to the finish line.
There will be four Fast & Furious, 3x3 races over the weekend with the fastest qualifiers starting at the front of the field in Race 1. A reverse grid will be used to determine the starting order in Races 2 and 4 while the driver’s combined times will decide who starts on pole for Race 3. Competitors will score points based on where they finish in each of the four races.
Tony Quinn came up with the concept at a major New Zealand motorsport event recently.
“I won’t name the event or the track because I might get into trouble, but I went there purely as a spectator,” says Quinn. “I wanted to see how the fans experience a race meeting and it was absolutely deplorable."
"Getting the cars on the grid and then doing a warm-up lap and starting the race took forever. When the racing finally started, after the excitement of the first couple of laps, it quickly became a procession where the cars went around and around the track until the finish line."
“A safety car came out at one stage and everyone got excited for a lap or two so the only exciting bits of the race were the start and the safety car. That’s where the idea for Fast & Furious Racing came from. It’s like Rugby Sevens or Twenty20 Cricket for motor racing.”
“I came up with the name Fast & Furious Racing. I didn't for a minute think it would be approved because of copyright but we got the green light and here we are. We were talking to Vin Diesel’s agent about getting him down to New Zealand to launch it but unfortunately, that hasn't panned out! So instead we’re going to launch it at the Laser Plumbing & Electrical Hampton Downs 500.”
Fast & Furious Racing is open to all categories of race car provided they have a full roll cage and MSNZ logbook and all entrants will be in with a chance to win a brand new car, which will be part of an overall prize pool of $50,000.
“We’ll give it a go at the Hampton Downs 500 and Mad Mike’s Summer Bash on December 9,” says Quinn. “If it doesn't work everyone will tell me it was a silly idea and it was never going to work,” says Quinn. “If it does work, everyone will copy it.”
South Island motorsport fans will also get their chance to try the new format at Quinn’s second New Zealand track, Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell, at the opening round of the sprint series in early October.
“The eventual plan is to have Fast & Furious race meetings where the goal will be to give the drivers five or six races in a day,” says Quinn. “They’ll see lots of action and it’ll be close, bumper to bumper racing rather than a predictable procession to the finish line. We might even get Vin Diesel to that one!”