Leyburn Sprints prove hit as Amos wins again

Tuesday 22 August, 2023
Photos: Trapnell Creatons
The 27th edition of the Historic Leyburn Sprints has been run and won with Dean Amos taking out top honours at the popular event.
More than 220 competitors were entered in the annual sprint event, where they attempted to post the fastest lap of the one-kilometre circuit around the Leyburn Township, but it was the reigning champion who came out on top.
Behind the wheel of his British-built Gould GR55B, Amos was just far too good throughout the event but recorded the win with his final run time of 40.795 seconds which was almost four seconds faster than the next best driver in Brett Bull.

Rounding out the event podium was another hill climb star in Warwick Hutchinson, who finished just under one second off the Van Dieman RF03K of Bull, comfortably finishing ahead of Steven Woodbridge and Luke Weiks, who made up the outright top five.
With the top five all running Formula Libres, the highest-placed car outside the dominant class belonged to Phil Heafey, who steered his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6 to sixth place with a solid time of 47.982 seconds – just five hundredths of a second off Weiks.
Heafey also came away with the Special Interest 4 Wheel drive class win, while Historic Touring Cars Group Nb class winner Neil Lewis guided his Ford Cortina 240 MkI to seventh place by an even smaller margin as just four hundredths separated he and Heafey.
Behind the two tin-top class winners were another pair of Formula Libres belonging to Michael Ciccotelli and David Quelch, while Matthew Read won the Special Interest Race Cars class in his Readster MTR1.
View the full results here.

Despite plenty of success stories in the top 10, it was all about Amos, who secured his eighth victory to claim the Col Furness Memorial Trophy, presented by the event’s guest-of-honour Colin Bond.
“Track conditions were a bit slower this year and cones had been placed on the corners that made it a challenge to get through them fast without clipping a cone and earning a time penalty,” Amos said.
“However, everyone was in the same boat, so it didn’t matter much and as usual I just had a great time. I love this event; it’s such a great time and I can’t wait to come back every year.”
Other notable victories throughout the event included Matthew Clift and his 1971 Mazda R100 Rotary, who finished 23rd outright and was the fastest historic car, while 17-year-old Sophie Devitt won the Mike & Ann Collins Memorial Junior Trophy.

In addition to the sprint itself, there were plenty of other competitions and activations throughout the event, including The Show ‘n’ Shine and the caravan display.
With 67 entries representing a vast range of cars in the Show ‘n’ Shine, it was the spectacular red 1980 Ford F350 truck of Peter McClaverty which was voted the best car, while Guy and Patsy Di Mattina’s 1969 Bedford Dormobile won the best caravan – a rare vehicle which they drove 18,500 kilometres around Australia.
President Tricia Chant was thrilled with the huge success of yet another edition of the Historic Leyburn Sprints – especially for the economic benefit it has on the town.
“Superb Darling Downs winter weather brought out big crowds on both days, especially Saturday, and as well as the Sprints competition there was plenty to keep them entertained,” Chant said.
“The Vintage Caravan display and Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine competition were big hits as usual and we also had a charity auction, fun run, racing car rides, a best campsite competition and much more.

“It’s been another terrific year commemorating the 1949 Leyburn Australian Grand Prix. Recently we tracked down the 1949-winning Delahaye in a California museum, which highlighted the history of this event and the town.
“The Historic Leyburn Sprints continues to grow but we’re proud that its most precious element, its welcoming grassroots atmosphere, continues undiluted.
“The Sprints will deliver another strong economic and cultural return for Leyburn and we’re already looking forward to returning on the third weekend of August in 2024 to do it bigger and better.”
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