Leyburn love: Jamie and Patricia Chant.
Leyburn love: Jamie and Patricia Chant. Katie Cameron

It takes more than grey skies to take the shine off Sprints

DESPITE an overcast day, motor enthusiasts from far and wide turned out in droves for the 18th annual Leyburn Sprints on Saturday.

Driver Patricia Chant will always remember this weekend, because it was 11 years ago that she met her husband Jamie at this very event.

Now part of the management committee, the weekend was Patricia's 14th year at the Sprints.

"It's fun and cheap. I always look forward to it," she said.

It was a boys weekend for Keith "Porky" Edwards, Matt Kahler and Alan Greenbury, who were there to "have a ball."

"It's a great event. You can take the racing seriously and take the mickey out of people," Keith said.

"We have raced all over Queensland and this is the highlight."

Last year's winner of the Col Furness Memorial Trophy, driver Warwick Huchinson won overall to make it a hat-trick.

He admitted there was some stiff competition for him to try to get three-in-a-row.

"The plan is to always go fast and have a go," he said.

After some engine problems last year, Huchinson

has prepared his specially-built Van Dieman single-seater for potential cooler weather.

"I think it was more the cold than anything else," he said.

"We've taken a bit more precautions this year, for dealing with the frosty mornings."

It was the first time coming to Leyburn for engine builder Robbie Lopuszynski and his son-in-law driver Graham Crase and their first impressions were positive.

"We're definitely coming back," Robbie said.

Familiar with motor racing and street circuits, Graham said the facilities at the Sprints were great.

"It's so well organised. We can stand close to the track and not miles away," he said.

Despite a cloudy day with a sprinkling of rain, driver John Boulton said the weather would not affect true racing fans.

"The hard-core people will stay," he said.

Fellow racer Rod McCray agreed.

"It's a fantastic atmosphere. These are like-minded people that are here because they want to be," he said.

"It's a little bit of rain with a lot of socialising."

Their team also thanked the township and the officials for their hard work, dedication and hospitality.

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