Stone Brothers Racing juggernaut and Queensland 300 champion Russell Ingall is looking forward to getting back to the grassroots of Australian motor sport during this weekend's historic sprints spectacular at Leyburn. Ingall, who drives the...
Stone Brothers Racing juggernaut and Queensland 300 champion Russell Ingall is looking forward to getting back to the grassroots of Australian motor sport during this weekend's historic sprints spectacular at Leyburn.
Ingall, who drives the Caltex Havoline Ford, will join fellow Australian V8 Supercar drivers Steven Johnson (Shell Helix Racing), David Besnard (Ford Performance Racing), Paul Morris (Sirromet Wines Racing) and Paul Weel (Team Brock) at the 8th annual Leyburn Sprints, that commemorates the first-ever Australian Grand Prix held in Queensland back in 1949.
"It's amazing to think that Leyburn is basically where it all started for motorsport in Queensland and it's certainly a credit to the community that it was able to host the best Australian drivers during the late 40's," said Ingall.
"Hats off to the organisers of the historic sprints to ensure this unique piece of motoring history isn't forgotten.
"It represents a major achievement for the rural community of Leyburn.
"Steve (Johnson) and Dave (Besnard) are competing in the sprints so it's sure to be a buzz for those guys jumping behind the wheel of these historic cars and an even bigger buzz for spectators."
Australian motorsport legend Dick Johnson will compete at Leyburn for the first time in the same Lotus Cortina to be driven by son Steven and Besnard.
Johnson is unrivalled as one of the great sporting personalities of Queensland through his dynamic touring car feats during the 80's and 90's that included five touring car championship titles and three chequered flag finishes at Bathurst.
"It'll be great to get behind the wheel of the Mach 1 at Leyburn as it's been quite a while since I last drove a car in anger," said Johnson.
"I'm confident it'll do the job for me and I'll be out there trying to beat the young guys and keeping them honest."
One hundred and sixty drivers will be gunning for honours at Leyburn over a one kilometre course that winds its way through the streets of the rural town.
The annual event has consistently attracted over 15 000 spectators over two days of racing and organisers are confident that number will be surpassed in 2003.
A special addition to this year's Leyburn Sprints is the introduction of a show and shine spectacular that will involve a range of historic and modern vehicles all competing for trophies and prize money
Other attractions during the 8th annual Leyburn Sprints include the Stone Brothers Racing merchandise truck and Caltex Havoline display vehicle and a wide range of rural merchandise stalls including bush furniture, arts and crafts, fretwork, gemstones, cakes and crafts, crocheted quilts, plus home made cooking.
Historic Leyburn Sprints: FAST FACTS
Event: The 8th annual Leyburn Historic Sprints is a motor racing feature that sees the rural Darling Downs town explode from a population of about 150 to more than 15000, during two days of action packed entertainment. The event commemorates the 1949 running of the Australian Grand Prix around the Leyburn circuit. This was the first time the AGP was held in Queensland. The original Leyburn circuit was utilised up until 1955. Motoring Enthusiasts will be treated to an array of sprint racing classes including open wheelers, historic bikes?? and sports cars of various engine capacities during the 2003 event.
Date: Saturday and Sunday, August 23 and 24, 2003
Location: Leyburn, Queensland (closed street circuit). About 45 minutes drive South West of Toowoomba on the Toowoomba/Karara Highway
Track: 1000m Sprint Course
Race Distance: Race against the clock over 1 full lap