Lucas and Boyd share Hopkirk Trophy
This report by Esler Crawford is reproduced from Wheel Magazine, October 1966.
DURING the past month, the final two rounds of the Northern Ireland Driving Test Championship have taken place and the destination of the Hopkirk Trophy decided. Taking into account the results of the championship the team to represent the North in the T.V. Trophy has also been chosen.
On September 10th, Armagh Motor Club staged their qualifying event at Megaberry where six rather uninteresting tests were carried out twice. Two things spoiled these tests – they tended to be rather tight and even when a bit of a “throw“ seemed possible the changes of direction involved were invariably on a very slippery surface and any spectacle was thus lost. In these circumstances it was not surprising that in the first six places there were three VW’s. Overall winner was Lee Lucas in his Grasshopper with Robert Woodside (VW of course) second and Ronnie McCartney (Cooper S) third.
But for having a line fault each this pair would in fact have taken the first two places. The “Spridget” exponents had a miserable outing with the championship leader, Adrian Boyd, only able to get 7th place behind Roger Cree, while Ian Woodside and Harold Hagan were 9th and 10th respectively.
This result meant that Lee Lucas moved into the lead in the Championship with 41 points while Adrian Boyd could not improve on his previous 39 and Ronnie McCartney increased his total to 37. After a very bad start at Mid-Antrim, McCartney has been in great form in his Cooper S and stands out as being by far the best Northern driver of this type of car. It is rather surprising, when one considers the power and manoeuvrability of the Cooper S, that so few people can make a really good job of driving them in tests.
A most intriguing situation was left for the final round organised by the Larne Motor Club at Nutt’s Corner aerodrome. By reason of only the best four scores from the six events being counted towards the final total, only Lucas and Boyd could win the Paddy Hopkirk Trophy. For Boyd to win he had to win outright at Larne with Lucas lower than second place. If he was second with Lucas lower than third then the result would be a draw, whereas if he finished lower than second or if Lucas was first or second then the championship went to Lucas.
Wisely eschewing the use of the runways at Nutt’s Corner, Larne laid out six, fast spectacular tests on the various roads between the terminal buildings, and a huge crowd of spectators turned up to witness what promised to be a most exciting contest. To add spice to the occasion, the Southern T.V. team of Messrs. Mooney, Cullen and Linehan had entered but to the great disappointment of all concerned they never put in an appearance.
For Lucas the day started disastrously with a Fail in the first test which must have been very demoralising. The Grasshopper was obviously not well suited to these fast tests and although he had no more disasters, Lucas could only finish 18th overall in a very select field. By contrast Boyd was in his element and was going like a bat out of hell to finish second overall with four FTD’s. Quickest man was Ronnie McCartney but there was a nerve-wracking wait for Lucas and Boyd while the stewards pondered over two possible failures incurred by the Omagh man.
If these were to be upheld then Boyd would take first place and the championship, but eventually it was confirmed that McCartney’s placing was O.K. Therefore the championship had resulted in a tie and, happily enough, with no mechanism to resolve ties, the Hopkirk Trophy was presented on the spot by Eric Hopkirk in the absence of Paddy, and was shared by Lee Lucas and Adrian Boyd. The final positions with all the individual scores are set out below.
From this table it is obvious that the three best in their respective classes for the T.V. Trophy (assuming these are as previously) would be Adrian Boyd (Sprite), Ronnie McCartney (Cooper S) and Robert Woodside (VW) and a couple of days later at a meeting in Newry the N.I.A.C.C. took the formal step of selecting this team with the diplomatic Woodside as captain.
1966 CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
- Adrian Boyd (A. H. Sprite) 41;
- Lee Lucas (Grasshopper) 41;
- Ronnie McCartney (1275 S) 39;
- Harold Hagan (A. H. Sprite) 32;
- Robert Woodside (VW 1300) 32;
- Ian Woodside (A. H. Sprite) 31;
- Roger Cree (A. H. Sprite), 19;
- David Grant (1275 S) 18;
- Derek Boyd (VW 1300) 17;
- Robert McBurney (VW 1300) 17;
- Ken Shields (VW 1300) 16;
- Billy Morrison (1275 S) 14.
ARMAGH TEST RESULTS
- Lee Lucas (Grasshopper Special) 415.0;
- Robert Woodside (VW 1300) 423.9;
- Ronnie McCartney (1275 Cooper S) 424.2;
- Derek Boyd (VW 1300) 427.8;
- Ken Shields (VW 1300) 428.9;
- Roger Cree (A. H. Sprite) 432.0.
LARNE TEST RESULTS
- Ronnie McCartney (1275 Cooper S) 488.4;
- Adrian Boyd (A. H. Sprite) 494.0;
- Ian Woodside (A. H. Sprite) 500.6;
- Harold Hagan (M.G. Midget) 511.8;
- Roger Cree (A. H. Sprite) 513.4;
- Robert McBurney (VW 1300) 524.2.