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PRESS RELEASE/Historic Leyburn Sprints – Photo: Trapnell Creations

Defending champion Dean Amos aims to be the first driver to run the Historic Leyburn Sprints street course in less than 40 seconds at this weekend’s 23rd annual event.
Amos’s campaign for a fifth-straight Col Furness Memorial outright trophy will be spurred by re-invigorated competition from some of Australia’s fastest sprints and hillclimb drivers when a field of 210 historic, classic and performance cars takes to the 1.0-kilometre track for two days of time trials.
The sub-40sec. goal has eluded Amos even though he has reset the course record in each of his past four winning appearances, but he believes this could be the year.
“I’d like to clock 40sec. this year, but it depends on the track conditions,” the Lismore workshop operator said.
“The time is there if the grip levels are there, but everything’s got to be on-point.
“In the middle of the day it’s mostly slower – you need a warm track but cool air. We also need to watch for dust on the track in this weather, which can make it slippery.”

Amos is looking forward to the challenge from three-time winner Warwick Hutchinson in a new, self-built single-seater, Michael Von Rappard, who has upgraded his Italian Dallara with a supercharged engine and Ed McCane in a new car imported from England.
Amos’s Gould GR55B racer also was built in England and is powered by 650 horsepower V8 engine developed from a Cosworth IndyCar unit. The combination won the Queensland Hillclimb Championship in June.
”It’s a handful on the tight tracks. You know you’re alive in that thing – I won’t get out of third gear around Leyburn,” Amos said.
“I’m looking forward to racing the others. Whoever wins will earn it, that’s for sure. It’s going to be on.
“We race hard against each other and we also have fun, but when the visor goes down it’s serious.”
The battle for outright honours will be the highlight in a weekend packed with motorsport and entertainment. Cars as old as 1925 will be on track alongside current high-performance models, while drivers under 16 will contest the new Ann Collins Memorial Trophy, designed to encourage future stars of the sport.

Off-track, a vintage caravan display and Shannons Show and Shine competition – on Sunday only – plus market stalls, a charity auction and live music at night will add to the Sprints attractions.
Raffles run throughout the weekend will win track rides in a variety of exciting racing cars.
Competition starts at 8am tomorrow and Sunday. Gates open at 6.30am and adult tickets are $20 a day or $30 for the weekend; accompanied children under 14 enter free. Leyburn is around 60 kms north-west of Warwick, on the southern Darling Downs.
Tourism and Events Queensland’s Queensland Destination Events Program and Southern Downs Regional Council provide financial assistance to help promote the Sprints and attract visitors to the Southern Downs region.

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