Ken Freeburn has raced his 1964 Mk1 Ford Cortina for the past 15 Leyburn Sprints.
Ken Freeburn has raced his 1964 Mk1 Ford Cortina for the past 15 Leyburn Sprints.

Leyburn geared up for racing

THE FAMOUS Leyburn Sprints will return to Leyburn for the sixteenth year running this weekend, with a field of more than 210 cars expected.

Drivers have begun arriving at the small township with their trailers and toys in tow, ready for another weekend of racing in the historical event.

Local driver Mike Collins has spent the week preparing his replica 1937 Indy Car for the race.

He said he’s raced his vehicle in the pre-war class for the past three years.

“It’s always good fun – people come here and try to have fun and that’s really the main thing,” Mr Collins said.

“The results aren’t too important for me, we’ve had a lot of fun every year.”

Cairns resident Ken Freeburn is the only person to have raced the Leyburn Sprints in the same car for the past 16 years.

He said his 1964 Mk 1 Ford Cortina has served him well throughout the years at Leyburn.

“Over the 16 years I’ve got 11 trophies and had fun every year,” Mr Freeburn said.

“The main aim is to have fun, I’ll be happy to take home a rock this time around.”

Local publican and resident Julie Trost said most of the locals didn’t have an issue with the annual event.

“It brings in extra customers and it is good for the town – it brings in extra money,” Ms Trost said.

“I don’t think there are many negatives, I don’t think it disadvantages anyone, it is good for the town.

“Most people look forward to it every year, it’s a fun weekend for everyone.”

Gates open for the race at 6.30am on Saturday morning with the first car out of the blocks about 8am on both days.

Racing finished about 5pm on Saturday and 3.30pm on Sunday.

Entry into the event is $15 each day for adults (a $25 weekend pass is available), children under 14 are free.