Upgrades flagged as Queensland Raceway buy-out falls through

Queensland Raceway owner John Tetley has committed to upgrading the Ipswich circuit after a potential buy-out fell through at the last minute.

Upgrades flagged as Queensland Raceway buy-out falls through

Tetley had been set to sell both QR and Lakeside Park off to businessman Tony Quinn, who already owns the Hampton Downs and Highlands circuits in New Zealand, and is the majority owner of Triple Eight Race Engineering.

However its understood the QR/Lakeside deal fell through at the last minute due to a change of heart from Tetley.

That's now been confirmed, to some extent, in a statement from Tetley committing both Queensland circuits to upgrades – although the statement doesn't directly reference the dealings with Quinn.

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It also doesn't go into detail as to what the upgrades will be, although does flag improvements to the "appearance and facilities" at the two circuits.

The facilities at QR often come under fire from Supercars teams, the circuit used as a testing base for the Queensland-based crews, while temporary safety upgrades are required for Motorsport Australia-sanctioned events.

John Tetley's statement in full

Fifteen months ago QR’s entire world was thrown into turmoil by COVID-19 and overnight the future of public venues, without warning, looked very bleak. Few understand the huge cost of maintaining some 7 kilometres of bitumen, ~250 acres of grounds, kilometres of plumbing, wiring, etc. etc. We had every right to be concerned about the future of our business and your recreation. Both venues had to be closed; that is to say we had zero revenue for the entire busiest quarter of the year and even into July. As you would expect, financially FY’20 was not good!

We took a very conservative approach to expenditures, with some criticism, and worked hard to conserve the resources we had available to us – especially the fantastic QR Crew. All through this time we have laboured under the constant threat of another long term close down that could really damage the two places we all enjoy and appreciate.

Well, the numbers are now in for FY’21. The threat of an extended business closure has diminished, and all our events are humming along with lots of customers. We have hired new people for both inside and outside and extended the reach of our event delivery capability into new areas. Whilst we still have a week to go, we can report that the entire business has performed better than it ever has before and we go into the new financial year with an optimism we did not think was possible a year ago.

This is due mainly to the amazing support from all of our customers through a time when flexibility and responsiveness were key to staying in business. Cutting costs to deliver best value to them was the best that we could do to return their faith in sticking with us as we sought to manage the challenges the company was facing. This was where RACERS played a major role with its ability to adapt as the QR Crew ducked and dived, managing one unpredictable situation after another as COVID restrictions changed whilst we struggled to keep everything on an even keel.

So, it is with no small amount of pride that we announce we now have the confidence and ability to go back to the 2019 plans to invest in improving the appearance and facilities at QR and Lakeside. Anyone who has been out to Lakeside lately will have commented on how much cleaner and tidier it is looking. QR has also been getting upgrades around the grounds and there have been a number of unseen improvements to the infrastructure in the last few months.

Thanks to the customer support and optimism about the coming year we can commit to significant new works to be undertaken during the November – January period which is when things slow down a bit on the event front. Assuming no future extended closures, you can expect to see more spectator facilities at QR. Lakeside will also get some upgrades with extension of its Soft-R-Wall safety furniture, general appearance and facilities from the beginning of next year.

If you would like to suggest some investments that you believe will help to improve the safety, and grow the business, please send them to admin@qldraceways.com.au.

On behalf of all the QR Crew, thanks for believing in us and sticking with us to get through a horrendous 15 months when we really did not know what the future was going to bring.

Twenty two - our time to renew.

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