John Bowe and Torana (Pics: TCM)

PHOTO: John Bowe will take a break from his Touring Car Masters campaign to join fellow Legends at the Historic Leyburn Sprints on 21-22 August (Pics: TCM)

LEYBURN (Queensland) - John Bowe, one of Australia’s most decorated motor-racing champions, will attend the Historic Leyburn Sprints for the first time at its 25th anniversary celebrations next month.

Bowe, recently awarded the Order of Australia medal for his lifetime’s service to motorsport, will be among a select group of drivers known as the Leyburn Legends invited on 21-22 August to celebrate the Sprints’ quarter-century and the Darling Downs township’s hosting of the 1949 Australian Grand Prix.

Still an active and winning competitor after 50 years at the wheel, the Tasmanian-born ace will join former rivals from the 70s and 80s including Dick Johnson, Colin Bond and Fred Gibson, plus other stars still to be announced.

The Leyburn Legends are set to be among the highlights of a packed weekend of grassroots motorsport competition featuring more than 200 historic, classic and performance cars racing the clock on a 1.0 kilometre closed-street course.

The event also will host a Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine competition for around 120 cars and motorcycles, a colourful vintage caravan display, country markets and many other family-friendly attractions.

John Bowe’s many achievements include –

  • Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame
  • Supercars Hall of Fame
  • Two Gold Star Australian Driving Champion awards
  • An Australian Touring Car Championship
  • Two Bathurst 1000 victories
  • Four Sandown 500 wins
  • Three 12-Hour wins
  • Five Touring Car Masters titles

By the time Bowe appears at Leyburn, he will have contested 1200 races in his career.

“It will be nice to catch up with everyone at Leyburn, but I’ve said I’d like to drive a car if they can find me one,” he said.

“I’ve heard the Sprints is a great little event - my mate Dick Johnson has been going for years. I love what I call real cars like they run at Leyburn and motorsport people, so I think it’s going to be a great experience.”

Historic Leyburn Sprints President Tricia Chant said the event’s organisers were honoured Bowe had accepted its invitation.

“John Bowe is truly a legend. He’s won countless titles in a long career and is still racing at the front, and he’s tremendously popular with fans,” she said.

“John, Dick Johnson, Colin Bond, Fred Gibson and some more Legends we’ll announce soon will attend the Sprints on both days and I know will get a warm welcome from everyone.

“After Covid forced the cancellation of last year’s event, there’s great excitement about our return among everyone from competitors and spectators to exhibitors and officials. It’s going to be a wonderful celebration of motorsport and motoring in our historic little town.”

Entries for the Historic Leyburn Sprints close on 9 July. The field will include racing, sports and touring cars dating from the 1920s to modern-day, competing in more than 50 classes.

Competition still start at 8am each day. Adult spectator tickets cost $20 on Saturday or Sunday, or $30 for the weekend. Accompanied children under 14 are free.

Leyburn, once a thriving gold mining centre and Cobb & Co. staging post, is on the Southern Darling Downs less than 2.5 hours from Brisbane and 40 minutes from Toowoomba or Warwick.

The Historic Leyburn Sprints was named 2017 Queensland Motor Sport Event of the Year. The not-for-profit event is run by a volunteer community committee and proceeds are used to benefit local projects and organisations.

The Queensland Government’s Queensland Destination Events Program and the Southern Downs Regional Council provide financial assistance to help promote the Sprints and attract visitors to the Southern Downs region. This event also has been proudly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).