Race tradition is still strong
For more than 80 years, the sounds of motors revving and tyres screeching have echoed around Albany’s historic streets.
The Around the Houses is back this Sunday with plenty of action on and off the track.
While the circuit may have changed since the first event in 1936, the Albany Classic has always held a special place in the hearts of motorsport fans and Albany residents alike.
The Albany Classic is synonymous with the coastal city and one of WA’s longest-running motorsport events. The Albany Advertiser archives have a stunning collection of historic photos from the race dating back to the 1930s.
To order your copies, call the Advertiser on 9892 8300 or visit westpix.com.au.
The Albany Classic draws car enthusiasts from far and wide, but few are likely to travel further this year than Iain and Leanne Simpson, who are trekking over from their home in Victoria.
The Simpsons left their home near Melbourne on May 26 in a twoseater, radio-less 1969 Lancia Fulvia to drive 3400km in a week along Australia’s south coast.
With just themselves and a pair of earphones to share for the trip, Mr Simson hopes to make it here in time for the Albany Classic hill climb on June 2.
The pair will both compete in the Classic, with Leanne having her first taste of the hill climb on Saturday before Iain takes on the Round the Houses in a Fiat 125T on Sunday.
It’s the second trip in two years Mr Simpson will have made to the Classic and, after visiting in 2017, he said he could not wait to come back this year.
“I said to Leanne when I got home ‘I don’t know what your plans are but I’m going back to Albany every year from now on’,” he said.
Mr Simpson, a builder, said he only got one holiday a year and had no other place in mind to spend his days off but WA’s South West. “It’s the best holiday you could have,” he said. “If the opportunity presents to do something special like this, then it’s something you have to take on.”
Spectators line the streets towatch the race.
Racing drivers navigate Albany’s wet streets.
Close finishes were often the order of the day.
Iain Simpson in the 1969 Lancia he and wife Leanne are driving to WA in.