Remembering the late Desmond Wing Quan

Remembering the late Desmond Wing Quan

The Trinidad and Tobago Automobile Sports Association mourns the recent passing of Desmond Wing Quan. A local motorsport icon, Desmond who raced in the mid-70s was one of Trinidad’s best. His rivals were some of Trinidad’s legendary drivers such as Frankie Boodram and Gordon Gonsalves.

A founding member of Team South Speed, Desmond was a south boy by birth. He grew up in San Fernando where he established his Mechanic garage on Ruth Avenue San Fernando. Many of souths best drivers and mechanics have testified to what a great mentor he was. A humble and unassuming man Desmond was known for his ability to tune and set up winning race cars.

Gordon Gonsalves described Desmond as one of the fastest and most talented drivers with superb car control, that he has ever met. Gordon recalled seeing Desmond drive for the first time at the Wallerfield short track. As Desmond came around the fastest turn he put his car in a perfect controlled power slide.
When asked “where did you learn to drive like that?” he grinned and replied “the small streets in South!”.

From left: Peter Edghill, Gordon Gonzalves and Desmond Wing Quan

Desmond’s race number #32 emblazoned his infamous black Mark I Ford Escort. He, along with Frankie Boodram and Gordon Gonsalves were the top drivers in the mid-70s in the Group 1 Special class. An extremely aggressive driver on track, the aggression ended as soon as he was off track.

Desmond Wing Quan competing in the Grp4 AWD class at the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship at Wallerfield in 2016

Desmond migrated to Canada in the late 80s where he took up a job with Toyota quickly rising through the ranks. He would often return to Trinidad and on one of his visits in 2018, he returned to racing at Wallerfield in a Mitsubishi Evolution IV representing the Red, Black and White at the Trinidad leg of the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC). Desmond was 69 years old, he leaves to mourn his wife Suzanne and two sons, Jason and Daniel.

Remembering in photos (circa 1977) courtesy Gordon Gonzalves:

Group 1 Special up to 2000cc starting grid with Des on pole (at least one car had a larger capacity engine). I’m second on the front row, third is Frankie. You can see spectators lining the whole length of the track in the background (it was probably an international event):
 
The same race after the flag has dropped. Frankie is already almost level with Des and I (notice the crowds):
 
Another angle of the start (and a better idea of how large the crowd was). Flag has just dropped:
 
Same race. Cars about to enter Top Corner. Des didn’t make a particularly good start and is now in third:
 
Probably the same race. Frankie, me and Des get on the anchors for top corner:
 
Probably the same race. Frankie, me and Des rounding Da Costa Jones corner. The left rear leaf spring on my car has just broken, hence the sideways angle of the car:
 
Probably same race. Me and Des enter the hairpin (Bottom Corner). The broken spring isn’t helping me and I believe I retired on this lap:
 
Des exiting the pits for another race in his wonderful black number 32 Escort (may not be the same event as the others above):
 

More recent photos courtesy David Jaggernauth:

Desmond and Jason Chen

 
Adrian Aleong and Desmond


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