LEYBURN TAKES RON THORP BACK TO HIS COBRA HEYDAYS
Ron Thorp AC Cobra (Speedcafe pic)
NOT only the cars have stories to tell at the Historic Leyburn Sprints. The event frequently attracts well-known drivers from yesteryears, keen to re-live their experiences, renew friendships and see cars from their era in action.
This year’s guests included Ron Thorp, a driver from the 1960s renowned for his glorious 1964 AC Shelby Cobra 289.
Based in Wollongong, Thorp and the dark green Cobra were familiar sights at circuits and hillclimbs all over Australia. Thorp won the Australian Hillclimb Championship for sports and racing cars in 1965-66-67 before he and the car retired to Inverell to allow him to follow his other passion, flying.
Amos sprints to third straight Historic Leyburn victory
PHOTO: Dean Amos wins his third Leyburn title (Credit: Trapnell Creations)
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.
MIGHTY MINI MARKS MAJOR MILESTONE AT LEYBURN
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.
DRIFT CARS PLAN TYRE-SMOKING MAYHEM
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.
CARS THE STARS ON- AND OFF-TRACK AT 21st HISTORIC LEYBURN SPRINTS
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.
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