The 8th Historic Leyburn Sprints - August 23/24, 2003
Click here to proceed to the Photo Gallery for Leyburn Sprints

Dick Johnson was Grand Marshall for the event
and had a run in Darryl Bray's MKI Lotus Cortina

The weekend of August 23/24 saw over 18,000 historic racing fans descend on Leyburn for the 8th Annual running of the Leyburn Historic Sprints. This event once again drew a capacity field of over 150 vehicles covering a broad range of classes and ensuring that there was something there of interest to all.

Sixties and seventies cars form the majority of the classes and prove to be the most popular with the spectators. Whether they are nimble wheel lifting Cortinas or rubber burning V8's, the cars from this era are most fondly remembered by most of the crowd and the drivers put on an enthusiastic performance to keep everyone entertained.

Ray Vandersee in the Van Demon Westfield took outright honours once again with a rapid time of 41.94 seconds

Regular competitor Mike Weston ran a creditable second in his 1969 Leyford GT.

Even from Friday afternoon it was obvious that this was going to be a big weekend, as the camping grounds were already much fuller than usual, and by Saturday night they were close to capacity. The crowd was a record for the event and must have pleased the organizers greatly.

Organisation was efficient as usual, and Saturday's runs proceeded at a swift pace. Overall the driving was neat and tidy and this helped get things flowing smoothly with virtually no holdups. All competitors managed four runs, and the first thirty cars started their fifth. By mid afternoon the track had rubber down and was fast, and the weekend's best times were set at this stage. Ray Vandersee did a rapid 41.94 on his third run for the day and this would stand as the fastest time for the weekend and a new track record, marginally quicker than his time of 42.04 from last year's event.

The situation changed dramatically over Saturday night, with a cold front bringing wind and heavy rain overnight and thoroughly drenching the circuit. Sunday morning was cold, wet and the outlook was bleak. Unfortunately a few competitors (mainly those with open cars or inappropriate tyres) decided to pack up camp and head for home. A few decided to sit out the first runs to see what developed and the rest carried on regardless and had a bit of fun on the wet track.

The Porsche 934 Replica of Bruce Simpson rounds turn three on the way to third outright

Jon Siddins tried hard as usual and was rewarded with a class win and fourth outright

The rain eventually went elsewhere and after a few runs the track started to dry. Those still running became more adventurous and the times started to fall again. A few competitors managed to improve on their Saturday times and sneak up a few places on the scoreboard, but overall the fastest runs were finalized on the Saturday. Ray Vandersee was unchallenged and took out the fastest time for the event for the second year running.

Hot on his heels were another group who finished in the 43 to 44 second bracket, with Mike Weston in the Leyford GT second on 43.32, then Bruce Simpson in the Porsche 934 Replica on 43.64, followed by Jon Siddins in the Datsun 240Z on 43.74, Ray Curtis in the Evo 5 Lancer on 43.97 and Adrian Mulhern in the R34 Skyline GT-R on 44.16 to round off the top six.

As always there were some pretty remarkable performances throughout the classes, and the speed of some of the older (and smaller) cars never ceases to amaze. Even though the Leyburn layout suits the "point and squirt" brigade, the smaller cars are always well represented in the top end of the time sheets. Preparations are already underway for next year's event, and more information can be found on the event's website at

Quickest of the "modern" brigade was Ray Curtis who managed fifth place in his Evo 5 Lancer

Top six runners were rounded off by Adrian Mulhern in the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

Click here to proceed to the Photo Gallery for Leyburn Sprints

A.B.N. 74 693 921 493
PO Box 101, Wellers Hill, Q4121, Australia
Phone 07 3397 5449 Mobile 0412 924 402 Fax 07 3342 0650
E-Mail to