READY TO SPRINT: Tenterfield driver Neal O'Reilly competed in the Queensland Super Sprints last weekend to fine-tune his form for the Historic Queensland meeting this weekend.
READY TO SPRINT: Tenterfield driver Neal O'Reilly competed in the Queensland Super Sprints last weekend to fine-tune his form for the Historic Queensland meeting this weekend. Gerard Walsh

From graders to mini for one of this weekend's visitors

MOTORSPORT: By day he maintains heavy machinery and by night he tinkers with his 1964 Morris Mini Cooper.

Tenterfield driver Neal O'Reilly will be among the starters in the Historic Queensland meeting at Morgan Park Raceway this weekend.

Many drivers headed into Warwick late Thursday or yesterday to get in a little bit of practise before the action hots up today.

The 280 nominations is believed to be a record for Warwick and also for circuit race meetings in Queensland.

O'Reilly was at Morgan Park last weekend for the Short Circuit Motor Sport Association round 3 meeting in Warwick.

He used the meeting to fine-tune his car for this weekend's Historic Queensland meeting.

O'Reilly, who has raced his mini in short circuit racing for the past five years, has a best time of 46 seconds on the short circuit 1.2km track at Morgan Park. He takes around three minutes to complete four laps of the raceway.

"Last weekend was a practice run for the historics,” he said.

This weekend will be his chance to match it with the fastest historic cars in eastern Australia.

In its day, the mini was mixing it with the best in the country at Bathurst.

O'Reilly will race in regularity events, which are timed sprints where drivers aim to be the closest to their dial-in time.

He does his own work on the car, working at night and on weekends in his shed at home

He is a mechanic in the workshop at Tenterfield Shire Council so has the experience to set up his car for racing.

Stars at event

There will be plenty of interest around the pits today as three-time Bathurst winner Dick Johnson will mingle with the drivers.

Phil Brock, the younger brother of legendary Bathurst driver Peter Brock, will be at the historic meeting all weekend to talk to drivers and fans.

While Peter was the best known of the brothers, Phil did compete in some endurance events with his brother.

Warwick driver Matt Campbell has returned from Germany to compete in two classes.

In one class, he will drive an open wheeler which he drove as a teenager for Frank Marshall at the raceway. Frank died in the past year so it will be special for the Warwick young gun to drive the same car.

Action all day today and tomorrow.



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