A 1939 MG TB single-seat racer that contested the 1949 Australian Grand Prix will be in the spotlight at this year’s 22nd Historic Leyburn Sprints, next weekend, August 19-20.
“It’s extraordinary that this car still even exists,” commented Sprints president Tricia Chant, “as some Grand Prix entrants didn’t survive the era. But to have it find a new home here on the Darling Downs, not far from Leyburn, and to have it running next weekend is truly wonderful.”
During the global rebuild that followed the end of World War II, the opportunity for the small town of Leyburn to host the 1949 Australian Grand Prix was one not to be missed, and among the entries that day some 68 years ago was a single-seat MG TB driven by Jack Nind. Nind’s hopes were dashed by engine failure, but after contesting three other Australian Grands Prix and many other events over the years, the MG will take another run at a Leyburn win in the annual round-the-houses Sprints alongside more than 200 other historic, classic and performance cars. The car is now owned by Colin Schiller of Cambooya, near Leyburn, and will be raced by his daughter Belinda.
The Sprints is one of the most treasured events on the Australian historic motorsport calendar, and this year the oldest cars will be two 1925 Austins, with the youngest being a 2017 Cobra. Across more than nine decades of motoring history, the lineup for two days of time trials will feature racing, sports and touring cars of many types.
Dean Amos from Lismore NSW will seek his fourth straight win for outright fastest time on the one-kilometer course in a Formula One-powered Gould Judd V8, while Keith Carling will defend his Historic trophy in a Tiga SC80 sports car.
Rally fans will be able to see a genuine ex-WRC Toyota Celica GT-Four and a thundering Safari-style Mercedes-Benz 450SLC V8 — brought from Adelaide by brothers Stuart and Angus Bowes — plus a rare Lancia Delta Integrale.
With racing from 8 a.m. both days, Flair Action Sports stunt bike show, vintage caravan display, Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine, pub bands at night, markets and many other attractions, the Sprints promises plenty of inexpensive family entertainment.
The community-run Sprints are supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, Queensland’s Destination Events Program that assists local organizations and projects including, this year, the Leyburn State School. For further information please visit www.historicleyburnsprints.com.au