Committee vows to Sprint ahead
WITH time running out as fast as the cars racing around the track, the Leyburn Sprints Committee is confident the sub-standard bitumen track will be fixed in time before the August event.
Leyburn Sprints Committee assistant secretary and treasurer David Young said motor enthusiasts left unhappy after the 2009 event but said “indications were very encouraging” the track would be fixed in time.
“We have sought grants from various people to run the Sprints more efficiently,” Mr Young said.
“The track is something we are definitely working on to get it ready so the good cars will come.”A Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) spokeswoman said council had not yet reached a decision on what its input might be and there is also no confirmed sponsorship at this point.
However, Leyburn Sprints Committee president Ann Collins reassured motorsport fans the event would proceed and the track would be up to scratch.
“The event is going ahead no doubt about it – the track will be fixed,” she said.
“We will seek what funding we can and work in close contact with the council.”
In December, the committee approached the SDRC to seek its support to continue the “fully historic event” as the road surface for the current track only supports day-to-day driving, not for racing cars reaching high speeds.
The Daily News quoted Mrs Collins as having told the council: “We need to get a new road surface or the historic cars won’t come”.
Mayor Ron Bellingham said yesterday the council recognised the event as an important one in the region but there were limitations on what it could provide for future capital investment.
“Council has invested a lot of money in the Sprints over the years, bought a paddock, upgraded the road and changes to the track,” Cr Bellingham said.
“Hopefully the event will be able to proceed but I can’t say what council can do money-wise.”
Mr Young said the event supported at least 15 groups in the Southern Downs area and was one of their major fundraising opportunities of the year, as well as supporting local businesses.
“There will be an event for sure but it’s the quality of cars that may be affected if they track isn’t fixed,” he said.
“Some of the cars that come are worth more than $1 million and if they get stone chips, it’s not fun.
“They’re not just some car in the backyard – a lot of effort goes into them.”
Warwick competitor Greg Newey, whose car was damaged at the 2009 Sprints, said the popular event would be in jeopardy if funding for the track was not settled soon.
“I’ve heard from people who were unhappy with the track and the damage it caused last year,” Mr Newey said.