Race tra­di­tion is still strong

Albany Extra - - News - Toby Hussey

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.

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