This report is reproduced from Irish Motor & Watersport Magazine
Although not stated, the original report and photos believed to be by Brian Foley. Additional photos have been added in from various sources as noted, including Beatty Crawford and Foster & Skeffington. Coverage of the Touring Event may have been elsewhere in the magazine but only these pages were retained by the “keeper” of the magazine.
CIRCUIT OF IRELAND INTERNATIONAL RALLY AND TOURING EVENT.
PRESENTING themselves to the starter on a wet evening at Bangor on Friday, March 27th, 1964 crews faced a new-look International Circuit of Ireland Rally. Three days and two nights of competition over some 1500 miles including eighteen special sections and eight speed tests were ahead with no driving tests. The entrants were divided into seven classes: Class 1 saloons up to 850cc had 7 entries, Class 2 saloons 850-1150cc (15), Class 3 saloons 1150-1300cc (4), Class 4 saloons 1300-1600cc (18), Class ‘5 saloons over 1600 cc (7), Class 6 grand touring cars up to 1300cc (7) and Class 7 G.T. over 1300cc had 6 entries.
The Circuit programme showed for the first time the seeding which the Ulster Automobile Club employed with the objective of putting the best crews out in front so that there should be no baulking over the many single-lane tracks which were to follow. Based on an assessment of driver, navigator and vehicle, this showed some interesting gradings. Obviously last year’s winner, Ian Woodside, was number one and he was followed in the UAC’s judgement by Ronnie White, Barry Williams (from Bromyard), Roger Clark, Charles Eyre-Maunsell, John La Trobe, Frank, Robinson, Robert Woodside, Cecil Vard and Robert McBurney to mention but the ‘top ten’. Only four of these favourites finished.
From Bangor, the route led them through County Down and four time controls to the first special section around midnight in Lislap Forest near Omagh. At this moment Eric Jackson from Barnsley in a Cortina G.T. was the only competitor without the loss of any marks. Noel Smith (Austin Cooper S) had lost 1; Adrian Boyd (Humber Super Snipe) 2; Robert Woodside (Okrasa VW) and Larry Mooney (VW 1500 S) had each lost 3; John La Trobe from Hildenborough in a Sunbeam Rapier had lost 6 and Frank Robinson (Cortina GT), Derek Boyd (Morris Cooper) and W. Armstrong (Morris Mini) were 10 marks down.
Already we had lost Donald McEnaney who had trouble starting the interesting Mantzell D.K.W. at Bangor and retired soon afterwards.
The Lislap forest section had it’s highest point shrouded in mist which further hindered the damp conditions. Nobody returned a clean sheet here, best times being recorded by Peter Johnston (Austin Cooper S) 5.2; Frank Robinson and Ronnie McCartney (Austin Cooper S) each 5.6; Adrian Boyd 6.4 and B. Williams (Austin Cooper S) 7.0 marks lost. The border was then crossed between Strabane and Lifford and a second special section tackled at Glendowan where no less than 14 escaped penalty including Johnston, McCartney, and Boyd. Fewer were clean at the third special section at Letterilly, namely just Johnston, Robinson and Boyd. This ended the fun and games for the first night and an easy run through Donegal to a breakfast stop at Sligo concluded stage 1.
Incidents were many, however. No less than ten more retirements were forced, most of them possible winners. Most dramatic was that of Ian Woodside who had gearbox maladies with his M.G. Midget. The Mini-Coopers were suffering from low ground clearance and holed sumps were, unfortunately, the order of the day. These forced the retirement of Cecil Card, Colin Andrews, and Derek Boyd. John Moore and Ronnie McCartney were able to effect temporary repairs to their similar damage. Peter Silva also retied his Cooper S at this stage.
Roger Clark’s Cortina was out with dynamo trouble and Bill Beattie’s Okrasa VW lost a rear wheel. Two more English competitors, John Kennerly (Bond Equipe) and Hugh O’Connor-Rourke (Porsche) were also out at this point. Since R. Charlton (Ford Anglia) had been excluded, this left 53 to start Stage 2. Only two were left in Class 6. Other misfortunes during the night befell Charles Eyre-Maunsell (Sunbeam Alpine) who was stuck in a ditch for an hour. Ronnie McCartney, as well as holing the sump of his Cooper, had an electrical failure and a puncture and Ronnie White’s Sebring Sprite had a faulty dynamo.
LEADERS AFTER STAGE 1.
- Eric Jackson (Cortina G.T.), 8.0;
- Adrian Boyd (Humber Snipe), 8.4;
- Robert Woodside (Okrasa VW), 13.8;
- John La Trobe (Rapier), 14.8;
- Frank Robinson (Cortina G.T.) 15.6;
- Noel Smith (Cooper S), 17.0;
- Reggie McSpadden (VW), 21.2;
- Ronnie McCartney (Cooper S), 21.2;
- Larry Mooney (VW 1500S), 22,2;
- David Glover (Mini), 25.0
Class 3 leader was Robert McBurney (VW) 39.4 marks, and Class 7 was John Elkin (Sprite) 32.2.
The Saturday weather was a great improvement to begin with, it being cold and sunny. After breakfast the entourage left for the first speed test, a hill climb at Lugnadeffa overlooking Sligo Bay. Although for the purposes of the rally marking was on the basis of the best time in each class being taken as standard, the actual marking for the hills will be of interest.
SPEED TEST ONE (Lugnadeffa)
(Marks shown are half actual time taken)
- A. Boyd (Humber) 29.0
- R. White (Sprite) 29.0
- C. Eyre-Maunsell (Alpine) 29.8
- L. Vard (A-Cooper) 30.0
- F. Robinson (Cortina) 30.2
- P. Johnston (A-Cooper) 30.2
- N. Harvey (M-Cooper) 30.6
- W. Morrison (A-Cooper) 30.6
- J. McClean (A-Cooper) 31.0
- R. McCartney (A-Cooper) 31.2
- J. Cassidy (M.G.B.) 31.2
This put Adrian Boyd into the overall rally lead.
The route now led inland to Mount Pleasant near Balla for special section 4 which, however, was scrubbed from the markings.
Speed test 2 followed at Lough Nafooey, the run down Lough Mask through Toormakeady and on through Joyce’s Country over the Mayo/Galway border being amongst the most beautiful in Ireland.
SPEED TEST TWO (Lough Nafooey)
- F. Robinson (Cortina) 31.8
- P. Johnston (Cooper) 32.6
- A. Boyd (Humber) 32.8
- E. Jackson (Cortina) 32.8
- W. Morrison (Cooper) 32.8
- C. Eyre-Maunsell (Alpine) 33.0
- R. McCart:ney (Cooper) 33.0
- L. Vard (Cooper) 33.0
- J. La Trobe (Rapier) 33.4
- J. Cassidy (M G B) 33.4
Three more special sections followed, the first two westwards near Clifden. At Tullymore eight managed to get through clean including Boyd, Jackson, La Trobe, Robinson and McCartney. These were all also among the 15 clean crews at Ballinaboy. The special section 7 at Maggie’s Brae near Oughterard caught only six crews for small penalties, none being the leaders.
The third hillclimb was on the L51 just south of Ballyvaughan and near the better known Corkscrew Hill.
SPEED TEST THREE (Ballyvaughan)
- C. Eyre-Maunsell (Alpine) 37.0
- F. Robinson (Cortina) 37.0
- W. Morrison (Coo er) 37.0
- A. Boyd (Humber)) 37.2
- P. Johnston (Cooper) 37.2
- N. Harvey (Cooper) 37.2
- L. Vard (Cooper) 37.2
- J. La Trobe (Rapier) 37.6
- R. White (Sprite) 37.8
- Miss R. Smith (Rapier) 37.8
Thence the rally route led southwards through County Clare towards Limerick, just south of which city, by Woodcock Hill, lay special Section 8. No crew completed this without loss of marks. Nearest to it were Frank Robinson and Eric Jackson (1.4), then John La Trobe, Adrian Boyd, Ronnie McCartney and Peter Johnston all with 1.6 and Alec Poole, John Eakin, Leslie Vard and Bill Morrison with 1.8.
The four navigation sections on this stage were straightforward but the rain-swept final run in to Killarney caught out several leading crews. Actually eleven stalwart crews lost no marks on any of these, being White, Boyd, McSpadden, Moore, Molyneaux, Poole, Miss Smith, Eakin, McClean, Morrison and Hayes. However, Jackson had lost 14, Woodside 42, La Trobe 8, Robinson 7, Noel Smith 3, Glover 6, and McCartney and Mooney only 1. This naturally confirmed Adrian Boyd’s lead with the big Humber.
BEST OVER STAGE TWO
- Adrian Boyd (Humber) 1.6;
- Alec Poole (Sprite) 2.6;
- Bill Morrison (Cooper) 2.6
- Leslie Vard (Cooper) 5.6;
- Ronnie McCartney (Cooper) 5.8;
- John McClean (Cooper) 6.2;
- Ronnie White (Sprite) 7.0;
- Miss R. Smith (Rapier) 7.2;
- Frank Robinson (Cortina) 8.4;
- John Moore (Cooper) 8.4.
Which gives credit where credit is due‘
LEADERS AFTER STAGE TWO
- Adrian Boyd (Humber) 10.0
- Frank Robinson (Cortina) 24.0
- Ronnie McCartney (Cooper) 27.0
- John La Trobe (Rapier) 28.6
- Bill Morrison (Cooper) 30.4
- Eric Jackson (Cortina) 33.0
- Noel Smith (Cooper) 36.0
- Reggie McSpadden (VW) 39.8
- David Glover (Austin-Mini) 40.4
- John Eakin (Sprite) 41.8
All was not well with many fancied competitors at this time. Maurice Acheson retired his Saab, M. Hinde had been bottoming with the Simca 1300 and with added wheel bearing trouble was excluded for lateness. Also excluded was W. McKnight’s Vitesse which had been going very well. Ronnie McCartney added a lost 3rd gear to his perforated sump bothers and Robert McBurney’s VW was about clutchless.
This left a field of 50 to contest the Sunday run. The unparalleled views of the majestic Kerry mountains being largely veiled by that wholly Irish mixture of mist and drizzle so well described as ‘mizzle’. Encountered were another four navigation sections, three special sections and three more speed tests in what was otherwise a rather short run of some 160 miles. The Ulster A.C. had somehow achieved what would have been considered impossible – the closing of the main Killarney – Kenmare road over Molls Gap which every tourist traverses for the glorious views of the famous Lakes. This was the scene of the fourth speed test, another climb.
SPEED TEST FOUR (Molls Gap)
(Official Marks being one seventh of actual time)
- A. Boyd (Humber) 30.8;
- P. Johnston (Cooper) 31.2;
- W. Morrison (Cooper) 31.2
- N. Harvey (Cooper) 31.4
- J. La Trobe (Rapier) 31.6
- F. Robinson (Cortina) 31.6
- R. McCartney (Cooper) 31.8
- J. McClean (Cooper) 31.8
- C. Eyre-Maunsell (Alpine) 32.0
- R. White (Sprite) 32.2
- L. Vard (Cooper) 32.2
The first special stage (number 9) was just east of Kenmare at Curramore and caught all the entry in some measure. Best over were La Trobe, McCartney and Morrison (.8) followed by Jackson and Poole (1.0) and Johnston, Harvey, Vard, W. Kehoe (VW1500 S), and D. McManus (Morris Cooper) who all lost 1.2 marks. Boyd lost 1.4 and Robinson 1.8.
Speed test five was through Fahiry, circumnavigating the Mweelin Mountain in the heart of the Derrynasaggart Mountains.
SPEED TEST FIVE (Fahiry)
- A. Boyd (Humber) 34.4
- N. Harvey (Cooper) 34.8
- W. Morrison (Cooper) 34.8
- F. Robinson (Cortina) 35.0
- L. Vard (Cooper) 35.0
- C. Eyre-Maunsell (Alpine) 35.4
- J. La Trobe (Rapier) 35.6
- B. Williams (Cooper) 35.8
- R. McCartney (Cooper) 35.8
- P. Johnston (Cooper) 35.8
The four navigation sections, suitably interspersed with the special sections and speed tests, added further penalties to every crew although negligible was the single mark lost by Peter Johnston, Noel Smith, Malcolm Templeton (Saab) and Ken Shields (Velox). Frank Robinson lost 7, Ronnie McCartney 3, John La Trobe 12, Bill Morrison 5 and Eric Jackson 2, so positions were being swapped around again.
Alas for poor Adrian. Being confused by a misleading map reference he took a virtually impassable track out of which he had to reverse, ditching the big Humber in the process. Trojan efforts by himself and navigator Beatty Crawford got the car back on to the road but even Adrian’s genius couldn’t make up the lost time and 101 marks were lost at one time control.
Special Section 10 was over Mount Prospect at the eastern end of the Shehy range. This was tight enough over quite rough roads and piled on further penalties all round. Least affected were Ronnie McCartney and Peter Johnston with 2.6, then Eric Jackson with 3.0 and Frank Robinson, J. McClean, Neil Harvey, Bill Morrison and Brian Kehoe with 3.4. John La Trobe lost 3.6 as did Reggie McSpadden while Noel Smith lost 4. Adrian Boyd came through at the tail end of the field losing only 3.8 but was now out of the reckoning for a place. He still had his eye on a class position however.
Special Section 11 was at Bulls Pocket, a few miles north of Bantry. This was extremely rough and served to pile on the penalty marks. Quickest through were McCartney and Johnston each losing 4 marks, then came Harvey and T. Cheevers (Rapier) (4.4) followed by Robinson, Jackson and Morrison (4.6) and Woodside and Poole (4.8). John La Trobe lost 5.0 as did Noel Smith.
Speed test six was up the mist en-shrouded Borlin Valley adjacent to the last special section.
SPEED TEST SIX (Borlin Valley)
- A. Boyd (Humber) 34.0
- P. Johnston (Cooper) 34.4
- W. Morrison (Cooper) 34.4
- F. Robinson (Cortina) 34,6
- J. La Trobe (Rapier) 35,2
- R. McCartney (Cooper) 35.2
- Miss R. Smith (Rapier) 35.2
- R. White (Sprite) 35,4
- J. Moore (Cooper) 35,6
- L. Vard (Cooper) 35,6
The red Harvey Morris Cooper S badly bent its nearside front wing on this hill. Barry Williams (Welsh Rally winner) had the front suspension of his Austin Cooper S collapse and so was out. McKnight’s Vitesse met its Waterloo on the Bulls Pocket stage. Frank Davidson drove a while on a flat tyre to save a penalty and the Bengry red Simca 1000 damaged its nearside front wing during the fray.
BEST OVER STAGE THREE
- Peter Johnston (Cooper) 9.8
- Ronnie McCartney (Cooper) 12.8
- Eric Jackson (Cortina) 14.4
- A.K. Poole (Sprite) 14.4
- Frank Robinson (Cortina) 16.8
- Noel Smith (Cooper) 17.8
- W.A. Armstrong (Morris Mini) 19.0
- Robert McBurney (VW) 19.6
- John Eakin (Sprite) 21.8
- D.D. Glover (Austin Mini) 21.8
Thus the Killarney Trophy for the best performance on the Sunday most deservedly went to Peter Johnston who had been doing very well but was never to overcome the heavy loss of road marks on the Friday night. Armstrong’s position with a Class 1 Mini should not be overlooked on this stage, a fine performance indeed. Robert McBurney’s position was also remarkable as upon leaving the Killarney control in the morning he went straight to a garage to replace his faulty clutch. Although this entailed removing and replacing the engine the complete manoeuvre was executed in sixteen minutes only losing him five minutes at the first control.
LEADERS AFTER ‘STAGE THREE
- Ronnie McCartney (Cooper) 39.8
- Frank Robinson (Cortina) 40.8
- Bill Morrison (Cooper) 44.2 **
- Eric Jackson (Cortina) 47.4
- John La Trobe (Rapier) 51.2
- Noel Smith (Cooper) 53.8
- D.D. Glover (Austin Mini) 62.2
- John Eakin (Sprite) 63.6
- W.A. Armstrong (Morris Mini) 64.2
- Robert McBurney (VW) 70.0
Ken Shields (Velox) was now leading Class 5 with 74.6 and Robert Woodside (VW) Class 6 with 85.2.
** Never shown in this position in the official results this was nevertheless the correct placing. Bill Morrison together with Neil Harvey (Cooper) and G. Baird (Rapier) were most unfortunately excluded after Stage Three for working on their cars in the parc ferme. Other retirements here were Billy Kilroy with a N.S.U. Prinz, and J.S. McClean whose steering no longer functioned correctly.
Hardly a car stood in Killarney’s Fair Green, the overnight parc ferme, that did not show some evidence of the tough nature of the 1964 rally. Impressively the Coopers of McCartney, Morrison and Smith appeared to have no damage to bodywork although the first made up for this by equalling his petrol consumption with his enormous oil consumption. Robinson had offside rear wing damage on his Cortina GT and Jackson had lost the rear lighting unit of his blue, grey and orange Cortina GT. La Trobe’s white Sunbeam Rapier appeared unscathed as did the Minis of Glover and Armstrong but no less than 13 of the 50 cars in that park showed some form of unscheduled contact with solid objects.
Actually 44 crews set off on Stage Four from Killarney to Mullingar on Easter Monday. First port of call was a main road hill on the Tralee-Castlemaine road just south of Tralee where it tackles the eastern extremity of the Slieve Mish range.
SPEED TEST SEVEN (Tralee)
- P. Johnston (Cooper) 28.8
- A. Boyd (Humber) 29.2
- E. Jackson (Cortina) 29.2
- L. Vard (Cooper) 29.2
- N. Smith (Cooper) 29.6
- J. La Trobe (Rapier) 2 29.8
- F. Robinson (Cortina) 30.0
- Miss R. Smith (Rapier) 30.0
- J. Cassidy (MGB) 30.2
- G. Gavrey (MGB) 30.4
Ronnie McCartney was marked at 31.4 so had a bad differential from Johnston’s marking of 2.6 thus droppin him to second place with 42.4 against Robinson’s 41.6 overall. All the following had moved up one place with Morrison’s disqualification with John Moore coming in as tenth man. Also as a result of the hillclimb Armstrong had gained 7th position from Eakin (remember for speed tests they are marked on class differential, not overall). As a matter of interest the sporting Johnston had pulled up from 14th to 11th after this climb.
Special Section 12 ran north-eastwards into Stack’s Mountain from a point half way between Tralee and Castle-island. The only one to traverse this section without loss of points was Peter Johnston (Cooper). John La Trobe only lost 0.5 being closely followed by Boyd and Smith with 0.6. Jackson and Vard lost 0.8 and Robinson 1.0 marks. McCartney lost 1.6. Apart from bringing the two Class One leaders Glover and Armstrong together in 7th place, each with 67.2 marks, this made no change in positions.
The two navigation sections on this stage caught only 18 of the entry. Amongst the leaders only Jackson (1) and Armstrong (2) dropped marks. Unfortunately, Johnston put paid to any hope of climbing on to the leader board by losing 10 marks here and dropping to 13th. Miss Smith also lost 10 on the navigation and dropped to 14th place.
The final speed test was at a well-known Circuit venue at Carrigeenina just south of Tipperary. Another climb up a very well surfaced but not very wide hill brought the following results.
SPEED TEST EIGHT (Canigeenina)
(Marking on half actual time taken)
- P. Johnston (Cooper) 27,4
- C. Eyre-Maunsell (Alpine) 28.0
- E. Jackson (Cortina) 28.0
- F. Robinson (Cortina) 28,2
- J. La Trobe (Rapier) 28.6
- L. Vard (Cooper) 28,6
- N. Smith (Cooper) 28.8
- J. Cassidy (MGB) 28.8
- A. Boyd (Humber) 29.4
- J . Moore (Cooper) 29.4
Ronnie McCartney was marked at 30.0. This test resolved the tie in Class One with Glover back in 6th place, Eakin again 7th, and Armstrong 8th. McCartney was now 3.8 marks behind the leader, Robinson, and had Jackson only 2.6 marks behind him. Johnston’s heroic effort only raised him to 12th.
It was now afternoon on a bright, if cool, day as the route turned northwards for Special Section 13 in the east of the Slieve Felim Mountains at Hollyford. None were clear here, not even the flying Johnston although he shared best time with Leslie Vard losing only 2.6. The first five placemen all lost either 2.8 or 3.0 marks here so no positions were changed.
Special Section 14 was nearby, finishing on the L34 south of Nenagh. Clean sheets were returned here by (of course) Johnston and Frank Robinson, John La Trobe, Rosemary Smith, Adrian Boyd and Leslie Vard. Jackson dropped 0.4 and McCartney 0.6. This section brought Robert McBurney into 8th place and Robert Woodside to 13th but made no other alteration amongst the first fifteen.
On, northwards, sped the tiring crews and, as light was beginning to fail, arrived at Special Section 15 in County Laois through Mountrath Forest in the middle of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Although rough, this provided a good bash and only caught Armstrong for 0.2 marks amongst the fifteen leaders.
This concluded Stage Four with a supper stop at Mullingar.
BEST OVER STAGE FOUR
- A. Boyd (Humber) 3.6
- L. Vard (Cooper) 4.4
- L. La Trobe (Rapier) 4.5
- F. Robinson (Cortina) 4.8
- E. Jackson (Cortina) 5.2
- N. Smith (Cooper) 6.0
- A. Poole (Sprite) 7.6
- R. McBurney (VW) 7.8
- J. Moore (Cooper) 8.0
- R. Woodside (VW) 9.0
During the run, the brave effort of Ronnie White came to an end when the red Sebring Sprite expired with transmission troubles. Brian Kehoe lost second and top gears in his Eire-assembled 1500 S Volkswagen. Charles Eyre-Maunsell was third time unlucky in the ditching of his Sunbeam Alpine and retired. Tony Maslen also retired his Lotus Cortina which had been doing quite well after a poor start on Friday night.
LEADERS AFTER STAGE FOUR
- Frank Robinson (Cortina) 45.6
- Ronnie McCartney (Cooper) 50.2
- Eric Jackson (Cortina) 52.6
- John La Trobe (Rapier) 55.7
- Noel Smith (Cooper) 59.8
- David Glover (Austin-Mini) 72.2
- John Eakin (Sprite) 74.4
- Robert McBurney (VW) 77.8
- W. Armstrong (Morris-Mini) 78.2
- John Moore (Cooper) 79.6
Class Five leader was still Ken Shields (Velox) 86.4 and Class Six Robert Woodside (Okrasa VW) 94.2.
Ronnie McCartney had used four gallons of oil on this stage and it seemed that the sump had had another bang making matters a lot worse. Pundits were remembering how Ronnie had been lying third after Stage Four in last year’s six-stage rally, his most strenuous efforts over-taxing his motor causing him to finish 11th. Could his sorely tried engine be fed well enough with vital lubricant to keep him in the places this year?
Only 41 crews set off into the night from Mullingar on the start of the final Stage Five. Four more navigational sections lay ahead, and three special sections. The navigational sections involved finding no less than 35 points and was well to be over before reaching the first of the special sections. The first fifteen collected penalties ranging from the 3 of Ronnie McCartney to the 49 of Robert McBurney. Frank Robinson had the misfortune to roll his Cortina on one of these sections. Only a minute was lost in righting this complete inversion but the steering had been damaged and his very good chances of an outright win disappeared. Altogether he lost 21 marks on these telling navigational sections which dropped him to third allowing McCartney into the lead. Jackson dropped to fourth place through losing 17 marks, to John La Trobe who lost only 8 marks moved into second spot. Glover moved into fifth place; Smith dropping to sixth. Moore moved up into seventh place and Malcolm Templeton, whose Saab had been 16th after Stage Four, by dint of losing only one mark on the navigation, shot up into eighth place.
All now depended en the special sections – and on McCartney’s reserves of oil. The first of these, Special Section 16, was through the Davagh Forest in County Tyrone. Adrian Boyd, still gamely trying as hard as ever with the big Humber, was best through this section losing 6.2 marks. McCartney lost a little ground with 10.2 but was still fairly secure in the lead with La Trobe second. Jackson was back in third place by 0.2 marks from Robinson. Then followed Glover, Smith, Moore, Elkin, Shields and Templeton.
On through the night the tense competitors sped. Special Section 17 was at Ballycastle Forest where seven were clean. None of the leaders lost more than 2.2 marks here and no position was altered, although some gaps narrowed.
The final test was Special Section 18 in Ballypatrick Forest off the main road between Ballycastle and Cushendall. Mark losses were unusually substantial here.
BEST OVER STAGE FIVE
- John La Trobe (Rapier) 23.0;
- Ronnie McCartney (Cooper S) 25.2;
- Bill Bengry (Simca 1000) 27.2;
- David Glover (Austin Mini) 27.6;
- Adrian Boyd (Humber) 28.8;
- John Moore (Cooper) 32.4;
- Eric Jackson (Cortina) 32.6;
- Reggie McSpadden (VW 1500 S) 34.6;
- Miss Rosemary Smith (Rapier) 35.2;
- Malcolm Templeton (Saab) 35.4.
For the third successive section, Ronnie McCartney lost more marks than John La Trobe but Ronnie remained 3.3 ahead and, after spreading over 30 gallons of oil on the Irish roads, fully deserved his fine victory brought about not only by fine driving and navigation by Terry Harryman, but by unusual determination and perseverance. Messrs Castrol must be very proud of him!
Thirty-nine crews were classified as finishers in the toughest Circuit yet.
On the assumption that the Circuit is to continue in this guise are there any lessons to be learned? Certainly, the main thing would seem to be to use a car with adequate ground clearance. Sump guards would seem to be essential. Here the Minis are at a disadvantage because the oil sump is an integral part of the engine casting so it is not just a matter of changing the sump when damaged. Fourteen Mini Coopers started and only six finished, two of these with holed sumps. Yet all three Minis in Class One finished. So it would seem to depend on how they are driven. Little can be done about the terrain traversed. If we want events to be won on the road then we must take the rough with the smooth.
On the other hand, every one of the large saloons finished and with hardly a scratch on them. The worst class was the GT’s up to 1300c.c. only 2 of 7 entries finishing. GT’s over 1300c.c. and Saloons 1150—1300 had 50% finishers and Saloons up to 850c.c. and 850—1150c.c. just over 50% finishers. Two-thirds of the 1300—1600 c.c. Saloons finished so it would seem that the larger your saloon the more likely you are to finish. Furthermore, Adrian Boyd proved that it’s quite possible for one of the biggest cars in the rally to win.
The demise of the sports car was notable. Not only were but four open cars entered, only two finished – 31st and 34th.
The other major point proves that no matter how brilliant you may be as a driver and how ‘au point’ your car, you won’t be amongst the leaders without an exceptionally competent navigator. The Champion navigator would seem to be Terry Harriman, the McCartney Cooper losing only 22 marks on the road. Mike Bassett only lost 27 with David Glover (Mini) and Desmond Bradley 29 with Noel Smith (Cooper). Both Julian Chitty and Ken Joseph, for John La Trobe (Rapier) and Eric Jackson (Cortina) respectively, lost 34 marks, and 38 marks were lost by D. Lockyear with Malcolm Templeton (Saab) and by B. Geary with Larry Mooney. We hope these comments on ‘les navigateurs’ are not unfair since driver fatigue and car ailment can also be reflected in these figures.
Certainly, the event met with general approval although the more impecunious private entrants have definite reservations about the total cost of such an outing. Several of us in semi-retirement wish this had been the scheme of things a few years ago.
FINAL OVERALL PLACINGS (TOP TWENTY)
- R.J.McCartney /T.A.Harriman (Austin Cooper S) 75.4
- J.LaTrobe /J.Chitty (Sunbeam Rapier) 78.7
- E.Jackson /K.Joseph (Ford Cortina GT) 85.2
- F.A.Robinson/J.R.Davidson (Ford Cortina GT) 91.4
- D.D.Glover/J.M.Bassett (Austin Mini) 99.8
- N.T.Smith/D.Bradley (Austin Cooper S) 103.0
- J.S.Moore /J.W.S.Scott (Austin Cooper S) 112.0
- R.Smith/S.O’Clery (Sunbeam Rapier) 128.6
- K.Shields /N.Henderson (Vauxhall Velox) 129.0
- M.Templeton/D.Lockyear (Saab) 134.0
- F.P.Johnston/F.F.Main (Austin Cooper S) 140.6
- J.A.Eakin /M.J.Hart (A-H Sprite s/c) 146.6
- R.D.G.McBurney /I.Turkington (Volkswagen 1200) 146.6
- W.A.Armstrong/H.P.Johnston (Morris Mini) 147.2
- L.A.Mooney/B.Geary (Volkswagen 1500 S) 152.6
- A.J.L.Boyd/B.Crawford (Humber Super Snipe) 154.6
- R.J.Woodside /N.Devlin (Okrasa VW) 161.8
- C.A.Gunn/R.Foott (Ford Zodiac) 162.8
- J.R.McSpadden/J.L.Armstrong (VW 1500 S) 167.2
- A.E.Bengry/B.Hughes (Simca 1000) 186.6
Class 1. Antrim Trophy (4 finishers)
- D.D.Glover/J.M.Bassett (Mini) 99.3
- M.Templeton/D.Lockyear (Saab) 134.0
- W.A.Armstrong/H.P.Johnston (Mini) 147.2
Class 2. Armagh Trophy (8 finishers)
- R.J.McCartney/T.A.Harriman (Cooper S) 75.4
- N.T.Smith/D.Bradley (A-Cooper S) 103.0
- J.S.Moore/J.W.Scott (A-Cooper S) 112.0
Class 3. Down Trophy (2 finishers)
- R.D.G.McBurney/I.Turkington (VW1200) 146.6
- R.J.E.Baird/K.W.Atkinson (Ford Anglia) 235.2
Class 4. Fermanagh Trophy (13 finishers)
- J.LaTrobe/J.Chitty (S.Rapier) 78.7
- E.Jackson/K.Joseph (Ford Cortina GT) 85.2
- F.A.Robinson/J.R.Davidson (Cortina GT) 91.4
Class 5. Tyrone Trophy (7 finishers)
- W.K.Shields/N.Henderson (V. Velox) 129.0
- A.J.L. Boyd/B.Crawford (Humber Snipe) 154.6
- C.A.Gunn/R.Foott (Ford Zodiac) 162.8
Class 6. Londonderry Trophy (2 finishers)
- R.J.Woodside/N.Devlin (Okrasa VW) 161.8
- A.K.Poole/J.A.G.Bilton (A-H Sprite) 570.4
Class 7. Belfast Trophy (3 finishers)
- J.A.Eakin/M.J.Hart (Sebring Sprite S/C) 146.6
- J.K.Cassidy/D.Turkington (MGB) 278.8
- G.M.Garrey/J.Cotton (MGB) 507.6
Ladies’ Trophy — Miss R.Smith/Miss S. O’Clery (Sunbeam Rapier)
Novices’ Trophy – M.Temp1eton/D.Lockyear (Saab)
Open Team Award and One Make Team Award
- Team VW — (McBurney/McSpadden/Woodside)
- Vauxhall — (Lucas/Molyneaux/Shields)
Club Team Award: Omagh M.C. (Eakin/Armstrong/McCartney)
AutosportTrophy & Oonagh Reid Trophy: J.LaTrobe/J.Chitty (Rapier)
H. A. Bryson Trophy: F.A.Robinson/J.R.Davidson (Cortina)
Castlereagh Trophy: D.D.Glover/J.M.Basset (Mini)
J.W.E. Banks Prize (Koni Shock Absorbers); L.A.Mooney (VW).