Dean Amos has claimed an emotional seventh outright trophy at the 26th edition of the Historic Leyburn Sprints.
With more than 220 competitors taking part in the event celebrating the 1949 running of the Australian Grand Prix in Leyburn, Amos put on a strong performance around the one-kilometre street circuit, defeating long-time rival and 2021 winner Warwick Hutchinson by just over seven tenths.
It was a significant victory for Amos who earlier this year lost both his home and car tuning business in the devastating Lismore floods.
Thankfully, he was able to save his car before water levels rose in his workshop making his victory all the more special.
“I wasn’t going to lose the car. Because of Covid issues I haven’t been to Leyburn since 2019, so it was great to save the car and come back this year and win with all my family here to see it,” Amos said.
While Amos added to his current standing record as the most successful outright Sprints competitor with seven wins, the event itself enjoyed a few records with the 2022 Historic Leyburn Sprints attracted record numbers both on and off the track.
The entry list of 221 entries in the time trials was the highest ever entered edition of its growing history, while it was the one of the biggest crowds in the event’s history.
President of the community organising committee, Tricia Chant was thrilled with the weekend.
“We haven’t finished counting all the attendance categories as of Monday morning, but it was definitely a huge crowd, especially on Saturday,” Chant said.
In addition to the racing action, attractions both on and off the track kept the crowd busy, including a vintage van display and the Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine.
Michael Robinson’s restored 1958 FE Holden Special won Best Car in the Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine competition, which attracted more than 60 entries. Tony Sullivan took out the win for best Van and Tow vehicle with a 1969 Olympic Riviera towed by a 1960 Chevrolet El Camino ute painted in matching pastel green.
On track, the 1971 Mazda R100 Coupe driven by Mathew Clift was the fastest sprints in the Historic category, his time of 50.368 seconds securing 17th overall.
Fans on both days were also treated to special parade laps by two cars that raced together 106 years ago for the Australian Land Speed Record, a 1912 Willys Overland and 1916 Studebaker Six. Although the cars didn’t reach the same speeds back in the day, fans were still left highly impressed by the spectacle.
The event was officially launched on Saturday by Southern Downs regional council Mayor, Cr Vic Pennisi said the Sprints were a popular annual tourist attraction for the Southern Downs region and generated a valuable contribution to the local economy.
The 27th running of the Historic Leyburn Sprints is scheduled to take place on the 19-20 August 2023.