Revheads ready to roar for Albany Classic

Ray Panizza is a fourth generation racer in the Albany Classic. (Photo: Isabel Vieira )

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The Albany Classic ‘Around the Houses’ race is roaring to go this long weekend, with over 150 vintage cars entered in the iconic event.

Albany was home to Australia’s very first Around the Houses race back in 1936, with this year marking the 85th anniversary since the original race took place.

The Albany Classic Motorsport Club and the Vintage Sports Car Club of WA, who are hosting the event, are also celebrating their 30th anniversary of recreating the modern-day race.

An army of volunteers will be busy transforming the CBD into a racetrack circuit for the main Around the Houses event on Sunday, kicking off at 10am.

Racers will weave at high speeds down York Street, through Grey Street West, down Collie Street, along Peels Place, back up Aberdeen Street and cut across Serpentine Road back to the main drag.

Saturday’s event will see racers take on the Mt Clarence Hillclimb along Apex Drive, commencing at 8.30am.  

Keep an eye out for number 17, Mr Panizza’s Ford Escort.  (Photo: Isabel Vieira )

Car racing in his blood 

Car enthusiast Ray Panizza, from Auto One Albany, will be racing his beloved 1976 Ford Escort MK2 around the track this weekend.

Mr Panizza’s family has a long-standing history with the race, with his great grandfather George Manley helping organise the first Albany Classic back in the day.

His grandfather, John Manley and uncle Ross Manley, have also taken to the racetrack over the years. 

“Cars are in the blood,” he said.

“I’m a fourth-generation competitor and all the generations have always supported the race.

“After I had my first outing in the Albany Classic, I haven’t missed one since. Once you’ve got the bug you just can’t shake it.”

Keep an eye out for number 17 on Mr Panizza’s Ford Escort, which will be seen flying around the track in the tin-top division on Sunday.

Albany Classic Coordinator Belinda Rowland said they’re expecting over 5,000 spectators to flock to town for the unique event.

“It’s got the sounds, the smells, the constant movement, you can hear the cars roaring up and down the street,” she said.

“It’s up close and in our faces, you can hear everything, you become part of it, that’s the experience that you get when watching the race.”

Ms Rowland said local accommodation providers have told them they are completely booked out for the long-weekend. 

To get a better view of the action, spectators can access two pedestrian overpass bridges which will be located on York Street and Peels Place.

There will be number of road closures on side-streets that branch off York Street, for more information visit albnayclassic.com.

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