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LEYBURN (Queensland) - They’ve pounded the asphalt over hundreds of thousands of kilometres around some of Australia’s most demanding circuits including Mount Panorama, but eight renowned drivers spanning almost 30 years of endurance racing victories will be welcomed at a track just one kilometre long at the 24th Historic Leyburn Sprints this weekend.

Dick Johnson, Kevin Bartlett, Colin Bond, John French, Bob Holden, Fred Gibson, Jim Bertram and Bill Gates are among a host of racing personalities from yesteryear invited as special guests at the Sprints’ 70th anniversary celebrations of the Australian Grand Prix.

The grand prix, the first national motor race staged in Queensland, was run on a former war-time aerodrome circuit just outside Leyburn on 18 September 1949. Watched by a crowd estimated at 30,000 – including the much younger French and Bertram - the 240 km event was won by John Crouch in a French-built Delahaye racer.

This year’s big-name guests, also joined by other motorsport leading lights including Bruce Garland, Don Holland, Brian Michelmore, Ian Maudsley, Bruce Richardson and John English, have no grands prix but many other high-profile victories to their credit.

The Shannons Show 'n' Shine and Vintage Caravan display will be colourful highlights of the off-track entertainment at this weekend's Historic Leyburn Sprints (Trapnell Creations pics)

PHOTOS: The Shannons Show 'n' Shine and Vintage Caravan display will be colourful highlights of the off-track entertainment at this weekend's Historic Leyburn Sprints. (Trapnell Creations pics)

LEYBURN (Queensland) - Spectators at this weekend’s 24thHistoric Leyburn Sprints will see around 210 historic, classic and modern cars race the clock on the streets of the little Darling Downs town, but the most colourful vehicles are likely to be found off-track.

Up to 40 “holiday homes on wheels” with period tow vehicles in the Vintage Caravan display and up to 150 glistening cars and motorcycles in the Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine will be highlights of a host of off-track attractions that promise a packed weekend of family entertainment on Saturday and Sunday.

Also on the program are appearances by a host of specially-invited motor-racing personalities of past decades, a country market featuring almost 30 stalls, raffles for racing car rides, a charity auction and two nights’ entertainment at the historic Royal Hotel.

Wheatvale State School - Strive With Pride

LEYBURN (Queensland) - EACH year, the Historic Leyburn Sprints commits to raising funds to support a local, small community group or school. In 2019, the Sprints is proud to support the Wheatvale State School.

Wheatvale State School is a school with country values and excellent educational outcomes. Situated 15 minutes west of Warwick, it currently caters for a total enrolment of 48 Prep to Year 6 students in three multi-aged classrooms.

With an excellent teacher/student ratio, experienced staff and visiting specialists for music, French and special needs cater for the individual needs of students every day.

Historic Leyburn Sprints 2019 (Photos: Trapnell Creations)

Photos: Trapnell Creations

LEYBURN (Queensland) - MORE than 200 historic, classic and performance cars and a grid-full of racing heroes from yesteryear will headline the 24th annual Historic Leyburn Sprints on the Southern Darling Downs on 17-18 August.

The time-trials on a closed-street course around Leyburn celebrate the running of the Australian Grand Prix on an ex-wartime airfield just outside the town in September 1949.

The event is one of the most popular on the historic motorsport calendar and every year attracts thousands of spectators from far and wide.

While no 1949 participants have been found to join the 70th anniversary celebrations, Sprints organisers have invited an impressive line-up of popular drivers from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, who will be on hand to meet their fans at various activities during the weekend.

Colin Schiller will bring two MG TB Specials that raced in the 1949 Australian Grand Prix to 70th anniversary celebrations at the Historic Leyburn Sprints next month.

PHOTOS: Colin Schiller will bring two MG TB Specials that raced in the 1949 Australian Grand Prix to 70th anniversary celebrations at the Historic Leyburn Sprints next month.

LEYBURN (Queensland) - Seventy years after the tiny southern Queensland town of Leyburn hosted a memorable Australian Grand Prix, two cars that contested the event will star in anniversary celebrations at the Historic Leyburn Sprints next month.

Both are 1939 MG TB Specials, owned by Colin Schiller and to be driven by him and his daughter Belinda.

The single-seater siblings will be among the oldest – and certainly most historic – of more than 200 entries expected at the 24thannual Sprints on 17-18 August.

The Sprints will mark 70 years since the grand prix was run on 18 September 1949 at a former wartime airfield just outside the Darling Downs township. Thirty thousand spectators were said to have watched the 242 km race, won by John Crouch in a French-built Delahaye.