Dean Amos wins his third Leyburn title

PHOTO: Dean Amos wins his third Leyburn title (Credit: Trapnell Creations)

Dick Johnson and John French drive a replica of their 1981 Bathurst 1000 winner

PHOTO: Dick Johnson and John French drive a replica of their 1981 Bathurst 1000 winner (Credit: Trapnell Creations)

DEAN Amos didn't need to get out of second gear to win his third straight Historic Leyburn Sprints outright title in record time at the weekend.

The driver from Lismore NSW rocketed back from a 10-month competition lay-off to cover Leyburn's 1.0 kilometre round-the-houses street course in 42.5447 seconds, lowering his previous best mark by 0.4 sec. on his fifth of seven runs against the clock.

"The car felt fantastic all weekend and I obviously didn't put wheel wrong when it mattered," Amos said.

"My car is suited to these Sprints events. It won the British Hillclimb Championship three times before my dad brought it to Australia. I has a Judd Formula 1 V8 engine. Around Leyburn I don't need to get out of second gear – but that's good for 170 kmh!"

Amos was almost 1.4 sec. faster than his nearest rival, North Queensland's Michael von Rappard, who drove a Formula 3-based Dallara and improved on his own times from 2015.

Bathurst Morris Cooper S

PHOTO: Exactly as it was – a replica of the Morris Cooper S that won Bathurst 50 years ago will be displayed at the Historic Leyburn Sprints.

A TINY car that claimed one of Australia's biggest motor racing victories 50 years ago will be among almost 400 automotive delights for spectators at the 21st annual Historic Leyburn Sprints, which start today.

In 1966, a Morris Cooper S driven by Rauno Aaltonen of Finland and Bob Holden of Australia won the Gallagher 500 race at Bathurst's Mount Panorama circuit, heading home eight more identical Minis in a giant-killing finish that has never been matched.

The winning Mini – in fact, an exact replica – will be on display at Leyburn before it returns to Bathurst to lead a golden anniversary parade before the Bathurst 1000 in October.

While the Bathurst Mini is expected to draw hundreds of admirers, car owner Ian Gillam of Toowoomba will race his second Mini, a near-identical Austin Cooper S version, in the Leyburn time trials on the township's one-kilometre street course.

SPECTACULAR Dan Showtime Kenneally Nissan Skyvia drift ute Drift Pirates copy

SIX high-powered, tyre-smoking drift cars will provide spectacular entertainment at the 21st Historic Leyburn Sprints this weekend.

Alongside the 210-plus thoroughbreds entered for the Sprints time-trials, there's definitely nothing historic or classic about the Hogs Breath Café-Maxtrek Drift Demo Team led by Dan "Showtime" Kenneally and his 400 horsepower Nissan Skyvia ute.

The sport of drifting demands extreme skill and accuracy to slide the cars sideways at high speed, even on a straight road. The result is plenty of noise and tyre smoke – and huge fun for spectators.

LEY16-Vintage caravans Trapnell Creations

THE cars are the stars at next weekend’s 21st Historic Leyburn Sprints – but not all of them will be racing around the township’s street course.

The off-track Vintage Caravan display and Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine competition are expected to attract up to 200 beautifully-presented vehicles and strong interest from the Sprints spectators.

The displays are highlights of a host of off-track attractions designed to entertain visitors throughout the weekend, addition to the 210-plus Sprints time-trial entries.

EXOTIC Stewart Reid 1985 Audi quattro S1 Trapnell copy

THE tiny Queensland town that once hosted an Australian Grand Prix will come alive again with motoring action when almost 400 historic, classic and performance vehicles turn out for the Historic Leyburn Sprints this weekend.

The 21st annual Sprints have attracted more than 210 thoroughbred machines representing 90 years of motoring for the round-the-houses time trials, while close to 200 show-and-shine cars and vintage caravans are expected for off-track displays.

The Sprints commemorate the running of the 1949 grand prix on a disused wartime airfield just outside the Darling Downs town, which is equidistant from Warwick and Toowoomba.

Leyburn's population of approximately 400 is expected to swell to up to 10,000 across the weekend, attracted by non-stop entertainment on- and off-track and grassroots country atmosphere.