A LEGEND of Australian motor sports made a triumphant return to the driving seat of his beloved Centaur Waggot at the Leyburn Sprints weekend.

Former Bathurst champion John French's automotive homecoming was a highlight of the two-day celebration of burnt rubber.

Race director Mike Collins said the 81-year-old was in high spirits as he tore up the track.

"He won the Australian GT Championship in 1962 driving the Centaur Waggot," he said.

"That's 60 years ago, so it was a special moment.

"The whole weekend has had a great spread of cars.

"There were 190 of them so I'm still trying to get through them all."

Race president Ann Collins said everything had worked in the car-lovers' favour.

"It's just wonderful - we've got a tremendous crowd and a fantastic array of cars.

"Last year we had a wet Saturday but this year the weather has been perfect.

"The numbers are probably better than the best we've had.

"What more could we ask for?"