PHOTO: Dean Amos clinched his second Historic Leyburn Sprints trophy on his last run (Trapnell Creations pic).
DEAN Amos, driving a Gould GR37 Judd V8, captured his second straight outright trophy at the 20th Historic Leyburn Sprints today.
Amos, from Lismore, NSW, put his English-built hillclimb special around the 1.0 kilometre Leyburn street course in 42.954 seconds, taking more than a second off his 2014 record and beating arch-rival and 2012-13 winner Warwick Hutchinson, in a rotary-engined Van Dieman.
The pair had been at the front of the time trials throughout the weekend, with Hutchinson fastest on four runs and leading after the fifth and penultimate run.
But while the Brisbane driver failed to improve on his final sprint, Amos laid all on the line for the fastest time to win by less than 0.8 sec.
“I actually hardly remember that run – I just pulled my finger out and went for it. My hands were shaking on the wheel as I crossed the line,” Amos said.
Michael Van Rappard and Dean Tighe were third and fourth in Dallara open-wheelers ahead of Peter Corbett and Paul Stokell in Radical sports cars.
David Cross won his fourth straight trophy as the fastest Historic entry in his Bowin Hay V8.
The duel between Amos and Hutchinson was an exciting climax to one of the biggest Sprints weekends on record.
A huge crowd – estimated on Saturday alone to be twice the twice the size of the entire 2014 event – drove to the little Darling Downs township to see more than 220 historic, classic and performance cars contest the time trials, 140 cars in a Shannons Shine n’ Shine, 25 vintage caravans, nine legends of motorsport honoured at a sold-out dinner and appearances by three famous racing cars of yesteryear, Sir Jack Brabham’s 1987 BT23C-1 Formula 2, the Mildren-Waggott ‘Yellow Submarine’ and 1965 Bathurst winner Bo Seton’s Ford Capri.
Graeme Collins, of Warwick, won top prize in the Show n’ Shine for his restored 1950 Morris J delivery van, while Steve Wearne and Narelle King of the Gold Coast won the Best Vintage Caravan and Display for their 1968 Evernew Hillandale van.
"The variety of cars we had this weekend, from a 1925 Austin to a Indianapolis roadster to a Group B Audi quattro, a Goggoobile, one of Sir Jack Brabham’s cars and just about anything else you could imagine, was mind-blowing,” Sprints organising committee President Ann Collins said.
“The weather was perfect and the crowd was enormous. I think they were drawn by our 20th anniversary, the entry list and the chance to meet our Legends John French, Bob Holden, Bruce Allison, Bo Seton, Jim Bertram, David Harding, Brian Michelmore, Paul Stokell and John English.
“With more than 1800 runs across the weekend, the fans certainly got their money’s worth. It was certainly one of our most memorable Sprints.”
The weekend marked 20 years since the local community got together to host a commemoration for the 1949 Australian Grand Prix, which was run on a nearby ex-wartime airfield. A little-known Jack Brabham won the Queensland Road Racing Championship there in 1953 and the 20th Historic Sprints were dedicated to the memory and heritage of the three-time World Champion, who died last year.
Proceeds from the Historic Sprints weekend are used to benefit local community groups and projects.
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.
Fastest times outright:
DeanAmos (Gould GR37 Judd) 42.954 sec.
2. Warwick Hutchinson (Van Dieman RF92) 43.732
Michael Van Rappard (Dallara F392) 45.687
Dean Tighe (Dallara D395) 45.735
Peter Corbett (Radical SR3) 46.654
David Cross (Bowin Hay) 50.262