The Historic Leyburn Sprints has returned from its two-year break in style as Warwick Hutchinson claimed his fourth title in dramatic fashion.
More than 300 cars attended the 25th anniversary of the event celebrating the 1949 Australian Grand Prix being held in the rural Queensland town, with a large portion of them contesting the one-kilometre Leyburn street course.
However, when it came to the outright result, just two provided the main entertainment with Hutchinson claiming the thrilling victory at the eleventh hour.
All weekend, he had trailed the Van Dieman single-seater of Brett Bull, whose time of 42.365 seconds looked to have all but sealed the victory and his maiden Col Furness Memorial Trophy.
However on his final attempt of the weekend, Hutchinson steered his Mazda rotary-powered OMS28 to a 42.271 second run, snatching the victory from Bull by less than one tenth of a second.
The victory was Hutchinson’s first since 2013 and the 56-year-old was thrilled to claim the title in the way he did.
“This trophy is close to my heart. I’ve been up here several times and it’s good to be back,” Hutchinson said.
“Brett was in front most of the weekend and it was a really close battle. That was very satisfying to beat him on the very last run.”
Click here to view results.
In other classes, Brad Stratton guided his 1962 Elfin Mallala sports car to a 55.225 second lap time, which was enough to deem him the fastest out of the Historics, while Thomas Rath won the Ann Collins Memorial Junior Award in a Suzuki Swift.
Outside of the sprints, there were lots of other activities for fans to enjoy, including meet and greets with the Leyburn Legends, including Australian motorsport royalty such as John Bowe and Dick Johnson.
Johnson also featured in the parade, where he was driven around in Australia’s oldest racing car, the 1922 Wikner Ford Special.
The five-time Australian Touring Car champion wasn’t the only big name to do a lap in an iconic car with current Repco Supercars Championship star Brodie Kostecki doing demonstration runs in Marcos Ambrose’s famous Ford Fusion NASCAR.
With the car on display in Australia for the first time, the Erebus Motorsport driver had enjoyed both driving the car and the event’s atmosphere.
“Everyone loved the sound of the NASCAR – it revs to 9000 and sounds unique,” Kostecki said.
“It was great to see so many people and so many cars – quite different to what I’ve been doing.
“It’s been nice to sit a few kids in my car for photographs.”
Off track, the 1979 Ford Falcon 500 Ute Rally Pack was deemed the best car in the Shannons Show N Shine, while a 1963 Millard Safari was crowned as the best presented van.
Click here for more information on the 2021 Leyburn Sprints.