LEY16-Vintage caravans Trapnell Creations

THE cars are the stars at next weekend’s 21st Historic Leyburn Sprints – but not all of them will be racing around the township’s street course.

The off-track Vintage Caravan display and Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine competition are expected to attract up to 200 beautifully-presented vehicles and strong interest from the Sprints spectators.

The displays are highlights of a host of off-track attractions designed to entertain visitors throughout the weekend, addition to the 210-plus Sprints time-trial entries.

Organisers expect between 30 and 40 restored vans to display in the paddock behind Leyburn’s 1863-licensed Royal Hotel. Many will be towed by restored sedans or utes of the era, while the owners will turn out in colourful outfits to match.

Prizes in several categories, including for Best Dressed owners, will be presented at 4pm on Saturday, but most vans are expected to remain on display all weekend.

Sunday’s Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine will bring another glistening array of cars of all types and ages, from hot rods to American and Australian classics and exotic European sports cars. Motorbikes are also included.

Spectators are guaranteed to see something weird, wonderful, or fascinating among the dozens of great cars lined up in rows on the grass beside the Sprints start-line in Macintyre Street.

Entry for competitors will be accepted on Sunday morning and is free with a $20 event ticket. There are 20 judging categories, with trophies including Best Car and Best Bike to be presented at 1pm on Sunday.

Other entertainment attractions include a fun-run around the Sprints course, starting at 7am on Sunday and open to all for a $5 fee benefiting the Leyburn Blue Light Association.

Market and souvenir stalls and food and drink stands will trade all weekend at various points around the course.

“While the historic, classic and performance racing cars are always the biggest attraction, there’s much more to entertain everyone at the Historic

Leyburn Sprints,” organising committee President Tricia Chant said.

“The spectacular Show ‘n’ Shine, the charming vintage vans, fun-run, market stalls, the old pub and other buildings dating from Leyburn’s gold-mining era, plus a friendly country atmosphere make a Sprints visit truly special.

“At $20 for an adult ticket, it’s also a great-value day out.”

The Sprints are supported through Tourism and Events Queensland’s Regional Development Program as part of a growing calendar of events across the State, plus the Southern Downs Regional Council.

Competition starts at 8am on both days. Adult tickets at the gate cost $20 per day or $30 for the weekend, with accompanied children under 14 years admitted free.