26 July, 2021
219 cars, 58 makes set for sprints
A field of 219 has entered for August’s Historic Leyburn Sprints, including 58 different makes of racing, sports and touring cars dating back to 1925.
Commemorating Leyburn hosting the 1949 Australian Grand Prix, the Sprints are returning after a COVID-forced absence in 2020.
The weekend line-up features non-stop grassroots motorsport, classic car and caravan displays, appearances by the Leyburn Legends drivers, markets and a host of other family-oriented attractions.
Defending champion Dean Amos will return with his British Gould GR55B V8 single-seater hoping not only to claim his seventh-straight Col Furness Trophy for outright fastest, but also to lower the time for the 1.0 kilometre round-the-houses course to a new record below 39 seconds.
“We’ve made some changes to the car’s chassis and braking since the last Sprints in 2019 and some more recent events and we’re starting to get a handle on it,” said Amos, who recently won his third Queensland Hillclimb Championship.
“The current record from 2019 is 39.97 seconds and I’m hoping to go quicker this time, into the 38s.
“It’s great to be going back to the Sprints. I love the event and missed it when it had to be cancelled because of COVID last year.”
While Amos aims to be fastest in a fast group that also includes usual rivals Warwick Hutchison (RPV03), Daniel Duffield (RPV01-B), Brett Bull (Van Dieman) and Michael Von Rappard and Steven Woodbridge (Dallaras), one of the slowest – and the oldest – entries in the time trials is likely to be Justin McCarthy’s tiny 750 c.c. Austin 7 Sports Special.
Also among the starters will be two of Australia’s most historic racing cars, a pair of pre-war MGs that contested the 1949 grand prix on the old Leyburn airfield circuit.
They will be driven by owner Colin Schiller and his daughter Belinda.
Sprints President Tricia Chant said it is wonderful that the public is able to see up-close such a huge array of historic, classic and performance cars at the Sprints.
“They are fascinating, colourful and exciting machines and you don’t have to be an enthusiast to enjoy them,” Ms Chant said.
The Historic Leyburn Sprints will take place on the weekend of 21-22 August.
Justin McCarthy’s 1925 Austin 7 Sports Special
Photo, Trapnell Creations