Ryder Quinn to complete New Zealand Grand Prix dream for grandfather Tony Quinn
Australian racer Ryder Quinn will take part in the 68th New Zealand Grand Prix next weekend and in doing so will complete a dream for his grandfather and circuit owner Tony Quinn.
Quinn – who returns to the Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship he competed in last year – went well at the track last season before competing in the Australian Porsche Carrera Cup. He also has fresh circuit knowledge too, having competed in the Highlands 6 Hour towards the end of last year.
He will re-acquaint himself with the Toyota FT60 – and more importantly get to grips with the new Pirelli tyres – during testing this week at the Euromarque Motorsport Park – before joining the full grid for the Grand Prix over the weekend of 16-18 February. As in 2023, he will be run by M2 Competition.
It will be the first time the Grand Prix has been run around the spectacular and scenic 4.1km track and the first Grand Prix in New Zealand’s South Island since 2007.
Ryder’s inclusion completes the circle for circuit owner Tony Quinn, who opened the circuit more than a decade ago with the dream of one day hosting the New Zealand Grand Prix. The significance of the weekend is not lost on the popular 18 year old, who’s relishing the challenge of doing well ‘at home’.
“Words cannot describe how excited I am to be competing in the 68th NZ GP at Highlands as the wildcard for M2 Competition,” he said. “The Highlands team has had this goal in mind since the beginning and it is super special that I’m able to compete for such a prestigious trophy, around such an iconic track.
“From a driving side, the biggest challenge will be wrapping myself around the Pirelli tyre and getting back into the “Formula” state of mind. I haven’t driven a Formula car since CTFROC last year so I’ll have to dust off the cobwebs and get back into the groove.”
M2 Competition’s Mark Pilcher is looking forward to running the young star again. "It's great to be able to welcome Ryder back to the team,” he said. “This weekend in Christchurch will give him a chance to get familiar with the car again, we look forward to helping achieve his best.”
Polish star Roman Bilinski currently leads the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship with just two rounds – and six races – remaining. Kiwis Liam Sceats and Kaleb Ngatoa lead the chase.