59# Ford Fusion NASCAR in action, Marcos Ambrose celebrates an historic victory at Watkins Glen NY, Supercar ace Brodie Kostecki to drive at Leyburn

PHOTO: From top left, the 59# Ford Fusion NASCAR in action, Marcos Ambrose celebrates an historic victory at Watkins Glen NY, Supercar ace Brodie Kostecki to drive at Leyburn (Pic: Speedcafe.com).

LEYBURN (Queensland) - “They’re gonna feel the ground shake when this thing lights up,” says Supercar ace Brodie Kostecki about his planned runs in a thundering American NASCAR sedan at the Historic Leyburn Sprints next month.

Kostecki will take to Leyburn’s round-the-houses course in the 750-horsepower 59# STP Ford Fusion that Australian star Marcos Ambrose drove to an historic victory in NASCAR’s elite Nationwide series at Watkins Glen International Raceway, New York, in 2008.

He’ll do two demonstration runs on the second day of the weekend Sprints, Sunday 12 September, and will be on hand to show fans around the car when it is on display.

“The STP NASCAR will be awesome to see and hear at Leyburn, even though it’s built for running on far bigger and faster tracks in America,” says Kostecki, the only person in Australia owner Brett “Crusher” Murray has entrusted to drive the car.

“I’m excited that the fans at Leyburn will be the first in Australia to see the Fusion run in public. I’ve only driven it in a private test at Queensland Raceway and at other times it spends a quiet life at the Gold Coast Motor Museum.

“It’s truly an awesome thing to drive and the noise is earth-shattering. While there is an amazing entry list for this year’s Leyburn event, I don’t think there will be anything louder or tougher than the #59 Fusion.”

Car owner Murray, founder of the popular motorsport website Speedcafe.com, says the NASCAR is an appropriately historic vehicle to join the Sprints 25th anniversary celebrations.

“This is the very car in which Marcos Ambrose, a two-time Supercar champion, achieved his breakthrough Nationwide series win at Watkins Glen on August 9, 2008,” he said.

“Marcos is the only Australian driver to have won at NASCAR’s top level and his car has been preserved in exactly the condition it came off the track that day, still with a few scrapes and tyre marbles stuck to the bodywork.”

Murray’s unique piece of Aussie-American racing history is now for sale and should tyre-kickers at Leyburn feel inclined to make an offer they’ll need deep pockets – it’s advertised for $375,000 on carsales.com.au.

It will be a highlight of a packed weekend of competition and motoring entertainment at the community-run Sprints, which were postponed from 21-22 August because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Other attractions will include Australia’s oldest racing car, the 1922 Wikner Ford Special, around 200 historic, classic and high-performance entries in the street sprints, Vintage caravans and a spectacular Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine display of more than 100 cars (Sunday only), plus country markets and trade displays.

Competition will start at 8am on both days. Adult ticket prices – unchanged for more than five years – will be $20 for Saturday or Sunday or $30 for the weekend. Children aged under 14 enter free and street parking is free. Power TV Australia will stream the entire event live via its free mobile app and the Sprints website.

Leyburn is around 60 kms north-west of Warwick and 220 kms from Brisbane.

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).