Media Release

INGENIOUS "AUSTRALIAN SPECIALS" PART OF GRAND PRIX HISTORY AT LEYBURN SPRINTS CELEBRATION

 

The 1954 Wolseley Flying W Special of Eric Cossiche from South Australia

PHOTO: The 1954 Wolseley Flying W Special of Eric Cossiche from South Australia represents the heritage of home-built Australian racing cars at next weekend’s Historic Leyburn Sprints

LEYBURN (Queensland) - When the Historic Leyburn Sprints roars into action next weekend it will celebrate not only the time the Darling Downs village hosted the Australian Grand Prix but also the ingenious home-built cars that helped revive Australian motor-racing after World War 2.

The entry list of 28 cars at the 1949 grand prix included 19 described as “Specials” - either roadgoing models lightened of superfluous bodywork or ground-up creations using combinations of secondhand parts. Their expensive imported rivals included two Bugattis, the winning Delahaye, a Jaguar and several MGs.

Virtually all the “Australian Specials” were constructed by enthusiasts with either limited funds or skills, but made up in speed what they lacked in style.

They became part of an engineering tradition that has continued for decades and will be remembered when around 20 cars that have been built as one-offs compete among a total entry of 210 in the weekend’s time-trials on the Leyburn 1.0 kilometre street course.

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ALFAS TO ASTONS - MINIS TO MUSTANGS: WATCH THE NEW HISTORIC LEYBURN SPRINTS TV AD

FROM McLAREN TO A COP CAR SPECIAL - LEYBURN SPRINTS RAFFLES ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME TRACK RIDES

An Audi quattro S1 Group B rally car and 820-horsepower Ford Falcon GT will be offering thrilling rides to spectators at the historic Leyburn Sprints (Trapnel Creations pics)

PHOTOS: An Audi quattro S1 Group B rally car and 820-horsepower Ford Falcon GT will be offering thrilling rides to spectators at the historic Leyburn Sprints (Trapnel Creations pics)

LEYBURN (Queensland) - Can you imagine riding in a McLaren or Lotus sports car, an Audi quattro rally beast, an 820 horsepower Falcon GT or even an ex-police pursuit drag racer? Some lucky spectators are in for the experience of a lifetime as winners of an amazing competition at the Historic Leyburn Sprints next month.

Raffles to win passenger “hot laps” in these rare and exotic cars on the Leyburn 1.0-kilometre street course will be held throughout the 18-19 August Sprints weekend.

Sprints President Tricia Chant says the event’s traditional ride raffle has been upgraded into a major spectator attraction this year.

“For the price of a $5 ticket, we’re offering Sprints spectators the unique chance to ride in some truly incredible cars. I can’t think of another event in the country that offers an experience like this and I’d like to thank the drivers for making their cars available,”Mrs Chant said.

WIN Hot Laps in some classic MUSCLE

(Click the above poster for a larger version)

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SABAKAT-LOTUS REVIVES A RACY HISTORY WITH LEYBURN DEBUT

The Sabakat started its life as a 1957 Lotus 12 before being spirited to Australia in the fuselage of a plane (Pic: nzpeterb on Flickr)

PHOTO: The Sabakat started its life as a 1957 Lotus 12 before being spirited to Australia in the fuselage of a plane (Pic: nzpeterb on Flickr)

LEYBURN (Queensland) - It was disguised under the name Sabakat and around 60 years ago had a decidedly racy history, but now one of the first Lotus competition cars is returning home to the Darling Downs for its debut in the Historic Leyburn Sprints next month.

The appearance of the 1957 single-seater among more than 200 historic, classic and performance cars entered for the 23rd annual Sprints on 18-19 August will revive stories of its alleged smuggling into Australia, grand prix history, a spectacularly fiery demise and eventual re-creation.

The Sabakat, to be driven by owner Mike Gosbell, is a Lotus 12, the model that launched the British manufacturer’s first foray into Formula 1 and Formula 2 racing in 1957.

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NEW TROPHY BOOSTS LEYBURN'S YOUNGEST DRIVERS

Tom Brelsford, 15, will race for the Ann Collins Memorial Trophy in his Ford Escort at the 2018 Historic Leyburn Sprints (Trapnell Creations pic)

PHOTO: Tom Brelsford, 15, will race for the Ann Collins Memorial Trophy in his Ford Escort at the 2018 Historic Leyburn Sprints (Trapnell Creations pic)

LEYBURN (Queensland) - The Historic Leyburn Sprints, one of Australia’s favourite classic motorsport events, will use its heritage to help boost the careers of the youngest racing drivers at this year’s 23rd event in August.

From this year, the Sprints will award the perpetual Ann Collins Memorial Trophy for the fastest driver aged 16 and under on the 1.0 kilometre street course.

The award will honour the former President of the Sprints organising committee Ann Collins, who passed away earlier this year leaving a legacy of strong commitment to the community-run event and to the futures of young people.

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HISTORIC LEYBURN SPRINTS WINS STATE FUNDS BOOST FOR TOURISM PROMOTION

The 23rd Historic Leyburn Sprints on 18-19 August will feature more than 200 historic, classic and performance cars representing more than 90 years of motoring (Pic by Trapnell Creations)

PHOTO: The 23rd Historic Leyburn Sprints on 18-19 August will feature more than 200 historic, classic and performance cars representing more than 90 years of motoring (Pic by Trapnell Creations)

LEYBURN (Queensland) - Queensland's Motor Sport Event of the Year, the Historic Leyburn Sprints, has been given increased funding to boost regional tourism under the Tourism and Events Queensland’s (TEQ) Queensland Destination Events Program (QDEP).

The $25,000 funding, up from $20,000 last year, continues TEQ’s long-standing support of the popular, round-the-houses time trials, which will be staged for the 23rd time this year on 18-19 August.

The money will be used for marketing and promotion aimed at attracting more spectators to the event and the Southern Queensland Country host region.

Last year’s event attracted up to 15,000 spectators and competitors to the tiny Darling Downs town, which has a permanent population of fewer than 450 people, and earned the Queensland Motor Sport Event of the Year award from the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport.

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HISTORIC LEYBURN SPRINTS NAMED QUEENSLAND MOTOR SPORT EVENT OF THE YEAR

Leyburn Sprints President Tricia Chant receives the CAMS Queensland Motor Sport Event of the Year award from MG Car Club of Queensland Secretary Malcolm Spiden (Pic by Ian Welsh, Shifting Focus)

PHOTO: Leyburn Sprints President Tricia Chant receives the CAMS Queensland Motor Sport Event of the Year award from MG Car Club of Queensland Secretary Malcolm Spiden (Pic by Ian Welsh, Shifting Focus)

LEYBURN (Queensland) - The annual Historic Leyburn Sprints, which celebrates the 1949 Australian Grand Prix, has been named the Queensland Motor Sport Event of the Year.

The win was announced at the CAMS State Motor Sport Awards in Brisbane on Friday night.

The community-run Sprints attracts more than 200 historic, classic and late-model performance cars and up to 15,000 spectators every year to compete on a closed street course in the tiny Darling Downs town.

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AMOS SCORCHES TO NEW RECORD WITH FOURTH STRAIGHT LEYBURN WIN

Dean Amos (left) and David Cross race to their respective victories at the 2017 Historic Leyburn Sprints. (by Trapnell Creations)

PHOTO (by Trapnell Creations): Dean Amos (left) and David Cross race to their respective victories at the 2017 Historic Leyburn Sprints.

Defending champion Dean Amos slashed almost two seconds off his own lap record to claim a fourth straight outright title at the 22nd Historic Leyburn Sprints at the weekend.

The Lismore-based racer set a time of 40.5651 sec. in a Gould GR55B single-seater on the sixth of seven runs against the clock around a one-kilometre street course in the Darling Downs township of Leyburn, around 200 kilometres west of Brisbane.

Winning the Col Furness Memorial Trophy, Amos became the second most successful Sprints competitor after Toowoomba’s Ray Vandersee, who has won six times. The Sprints celebrate the 1949 running of the Australian Grand Prix on a disused wartime aerodrome just outside Leyburn.

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CAMS Motor Sports Awards 2017 Winner QLD

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