Klark Quinn on his Bathurst Round Win and GT Title Chances

Tony Quinn & Klark Quinn. Team VIP Petfoods. Aston Martin DBRS9 & Mosler MT900
Klark Quinn, pictured here at Phillip Island, will fight for the title at Sandown

Hi Klark, thanks for joining me.  A great weekend for you, two second places around Bathurst and the round win.  Can you take us through the weekend from your perspective?

The weekend started off with two sessions in the wet which the Mosler was suited to. There was absolutely nothing to be gained racing around in practice on old tyres in wet conditions.  I have been around Bathurst for long enough.  We didn’t really try to set a quick time in practice – but saying that, we probably wouldn’t have done a quick time anyway as the Molser is not suited to the conditions.  In the dry though, it is pretty good.

Heading into Friday we had the qualifying session and we really only had about 10 minutes of dry running to get a lap time in.  On the second or third flyer we got a decent lap in and we were still a second off Greg Crick but still good enough for second.  My time over the top of the Mountain was a second quicker than Greg’s but going up the Mountain and down Conrod, Greg Crick was a second quicker again.  He was effectively two seconds quicker going in a straight line and I was able to peg back a second over the top of the mountain.

My time over the top of the Mountain was a second quicker than Greg’s but going up the Mountain and down Conrod, Greg Crick was a second quicker again.

I knew we had good top of the hill speed but we would struggle with the straight line speed.  The engine of the Mosler is restricted so that severely hampers the performance of the car in  a straight line.   That meant in the races I would have to make a couple of dive bombs and try to keep the others behind me in a straight line.  Across the top of the mountain though, I knew I had it.

Then in race 1, it was wet – so I ran on wets.  I started on the front row with Greg Crick who started on slick tyres.  I think it was a mistake running on slick tyres.  We were basically track sweepers that day.  First ones out, running at 8 o’clock in the morning on a damp track.  The track also wasn’t going to dry out so that was just a fatal mistake that he made.  I believe he got swamped at the beginning and crashed on lap one.

Peter Hackett was quick all weekend in the wet.  So basically I handed it to him.  He has a lot of electronic assistance and he has the best ABS, traction control – the Mercedes is a beautiful thing when you see it up close.  So I didn’t really have a chance to keep him at bay.  He went off in the lead and I had a pretty cruisy second in race one.

Dad did a good job in keeping Mark Eddy back in the first race – he held him off for third and Mark finished fourth.  Race one was kind of a bit boring – if you can say that – where race two was the opposite.

Straight from the get-go it was trying.  We went out on the warm up lap – it was super dry and everyone went out on wets so we came into the pits on the formation laps and changed to slicks.  So we dropped positions in the pit lane before the race had even started.  We had to start the race in pitlane in a queue of cars.  Mark Eddy had the same idea, so once the race had started and the field went past Mark and I went as quickly as possible through the field.  We had a great battle – he’d get me on the straights, I’d get him over the top, he’d get me on the straights again.  This happened for two or three laps until he was able to get away from me too much on the straights.

We had a great battle – he’d get me on the straights, I’d get him over the top, he’d get me on the straights again.

We were catching the field, we caught up with Peter Hackett who was still on wets.  He started from the front so we caught and passed him.  Kevin Weeks was the next in line – with five laps to go it was all on with Kevin.  It was an amazing dice.  I could have lost my cool a lot – Kevin had blocked me so much that he received a bad sportsmanship flag at the end of the race.  There was some pretty heavy blocking.

I gave him a couple of nudges just to remind him that I was there and was determined to get past.  He never stopped blocking me but I knew I was quicker than him, pretty much from the first bend right through to Forest Elbow.  When the guys said on the radio ‘last lap’ I knew I only had one chance – and that would be at the cutting.  When it came to the Cutting I knew I had to have a good run.  When we got there I wasn’t really close enough – I was about two car lengths back but I only had one chance.  So I made the commitment and made the lunge.  I jammed it in between the Lamborghini and the concrete wall and eventually he did cut in on me.  Both cars did bump together – side by side, our wheels clashed.  Luckily, for both of us, nothing bad happened and we kept on going and ended up second in race two.

Bit of a long story but a good weekend for me.  It was quite refreshing.  We weren’t really the fastest car on the track but we were one of the strongest.  It was also a great fight with Kevin Weeks but probably a little too much to be honest.

Did the car have any difficulties after the engine problems you had at Phillip Island?

It is pretty much a crate engine that goes into these Moslers, so we just threw that in.  We did have a couple of issues with oil pressure in the car but it lasted all weekend.  I wasn’t going to give up half way through the race.  I kept pushing and the car lasted.  There was certainly no adverse affects from Phillip Island.  We put the car together as normal and I have to say, that in dry across the top of the Mountain it is one of the best cars.  Across the top of the Mountain, it is the best fun.  It doesn’t matter if you are driving a Mitsubishi Lancer or Honda Integra – anything you drive across the top of the Mountain it is amazing.  To do it in a Mosler – which grips up if you use that aero package it has, it delivers really good, fun times.  That was the best part of the whole weekend.  To try and go flat from the Cutting to Forest Elbow was great.


The Australian GT Championship at Phillip Island

All out attack with Mark Eddy as you try for the Title at Sandown?

We haven’t given up yet –there is still life in me yet but I do need something unfortunate to happen to Mark which is very unlikely.  Mark is very consistent with the car that he drives and the team that prepares his car, they always put in a-grade performances.  It will be very hard – something will have to go wrong and I wouldn’t wish that on him.  What I would like is to race 1 – at the close to make sure it is a race and a fight to win the Championship.  I wouldn’t like it to be too easy.  I wouldn’t like to win the Championship if there was no fight in it.  That would be awesome – even if we come second, as long as there is a good fight in it, that is what we want.

Thanks Klark, and best of luck in the season finale.


Article and interview by Sam Tickell, October 2011