Amos claims fifth Leyburn Sprints win and record, but benchmark lap eludes

Dean Amos takes a fifth Historic Leyburn Sprints trophy in his Gould V8 pic: Trapnell Creations

Dean Amos has claimed his fifth outright trophy and another record time at the 2018 Historic Leyburn Sprints, but windy and dusty conditions spoiled the Gould V8 driver’s crack at a benchmark sub-40 second run.

Amos lowered his time on the 1.0 kilometre street course to 40.1589 sec., comfortably beating second-placed Michael Von Rappard, who recorded 42.2608 sec. in a Dallara-Suzuki. Steve Woodbridge, in another Dallara, was third with a time of 44.7002 sec.

In the historic section, Keith Carling returned to the top with a 51.0654 sec run in his Tiga sports car.

Year 10 school student Tom Clift won a regularity competition for the inaugural Ann Collins Memorial Trophy, designed to encourage young racing drivers.

Almost 210 cars entered the 23rd annual Sprints, which celebrate the running of the 1949 Australian Grand Prix at Leyburn. The oldest starters were two 1925 Austins, the newest a 2018 Firehawk single-seater and the highlight an MG Special that contested the 1949 event.

Amos had set a sub-40 sec. run as his target this year for the Col Furness Memorial Trophy, but high temperatures on Saturday and wind yesterday that blew clouds of dust across the track made it impossible and he promised to try again next year.

“I had a crack but the conditions just weren’t right. The wind blew me around especially at high speed and made the car a bit unstable under brakes,” he said.

“But I’m stoked with my time, particularly with the conditions. The competition was fantastic.

“I’ll be back next year – I want that time.”

The Historic Leyburn Sprints offered thousands of spectators plenty of attractions off-track.

Toowoomba’s Dave Archer won Best Car in the Shannons Show ‘n Shine competition with a 1934 SS Swallow Saloon, magnificently restored from virtual scrap over 2000 hours by his father Norm Archer. Around 140 immaculate cars and motorcycles made this year’s one of the biggest.

Deanna Ward won the prize for “Quirkiest” entry in the Vintage Caravan Display. Other winners were Bob and Sandi Cray (Best Van Display) and Peter and Glenda McCleverty (Best Car and Van Combination).

The annual community-run Sprints benefits local organisations and projects and organising committee President Tricia Chant presented the eight-pupil Karara State School with $6500 raised over the weekend.

Next year’s event is again expected to be run in August and will host special celebrations for the 70thanniversary of the Leyburn Australian Grand Prix.

Tourism and Events Queensland’s Queensland Destination Events Program and Southern Downs Regional Council provide financial assistance to help promote the Sprints and attract visitors to the Southern Downs region.

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