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.
Sprints regular Keith Carling claimed the fastest Historics time of 50.5878 sec. in a 1980 Tiga SC84 sports car.
More than 200 historic, classic and performance cars, dating from a 1925 Austin, to an owner-built single-seater called a Fly, contested this year's Sprints in fine, warm weather.
Apart from the time trials, the many highlights included regular Leyburn attendees and 1981 Bathurst 1000 co-winners Dick Johnson, 71, and John French, 85, driving a parade lap in a replica of their famous Tru-Blue XD Ford Falcon
Historic Leyburn Sprints organising committee president Tricia Chant said 2016 was one of the most successful events in the 21-year history of community-run commemorations of the tiny town's 1949 Australian Grand Prix.
"The weather was great all weekend and we had fantastic on-track competition across more than 200 cars of all types. Although we're still doing the final audit of ticket sales, we believe Saturday's crowd was at least as good as last year's record," Ms Chant said.
"We also had up to 150 entries in the Shannons Show 'n' Shine and Vintage Caravan displays. The Historic Leyburn Sprints continues to attract some of the best cars from the historic motorsport scene while providing the Southern Downs region with one of its most enduring and popular tourism events."
A date for the 2017 Sprints is expected to be announced later this year.
Outright fastest time:
1. Dean Amos (Gould RP37-Judd) 42.5447 sec.
2. Michael Von Rappard (Dallara F392) 43.8984
3. Neil Lewis (Fly) 45.0777
Keith Carling (Tiga SC84) 50.5878
The Sprints are supported through Tourism and Events Queensland's Regional Development Program as part of a growing calendar of events across the State, plus the Southern Downs Regional Council.