Mike Collins puts the Ford Mustang to work in Australia after a third on Pikes Peak in the United States.
Mike Collins puts the Ford Mustang to work in Australia after a third on Pikes Peak in the United States. Contributed

Clouds to streets

MIKE Collins has driven his imported 1965 Ford Mustang 14,100 feet above sea level in America, but will be closer to the ground in his first run on his hometown track at Leyburn this weekend.

Collins and his wife Ann were inaugural members of the Leyburn Motor Sprints Committee and Mike has competed in all 17 in five different cars.

Last year, he raced the Mustang in the Pikes Peak Race To The Clouds in the United States, the highest hill climb in the world.

"I was third in the unmodified vintage class in an event which starts 9300 feet above sea level and finishes at 14,100 feet.

"The climb is 20km long with 156 turns. I saw a movie on Pikes Peak and put it on my bucket list of things to do.

"We had the Mustang perfectly tuned for Pikes Peak and it didn't boil like some of the vehicles," he said.

He went to the United States to hire the Mustang for one event and ended up buying it.

Despite a placing in the United States, Mike isn't putting his house on a victory at Leyburn.

"There are some top drivers and cars in my class led by John English in a Pontiac," he said.

"It would be a real thrill to win my class."

Mike first competed in a rally in 1969 and was first outright in the first Great Endeavour Rally in 1988.

He is a regular in Queensland Super Sprints at Morgan Park and has raced the Mustang at Queensland Raceway and Lakeside. Mike expects his best lap will be 46-48 seconds this weekend.



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