1967 Circuit – Wheel Magazine

Photo: Brian Foley
Paddy Hopkirk and Terry Harryman raise the dust with the winning Mini-Cooper S on the Skeaghvasteen Special Stage on Easter Saturday morning.

This report by Brian Foley is reproduced from Wheel Magazine September 1967 and supplemented by photos from various sources.

Hopkirk Makes it Five.

OUTRIGHT VICTORY in the Ulster Automobile Club’s Gallaher Circuit of Ireland International Rally went to Paddy Hopkirk and Terry Harryman in a works, 1293 c.c. B.M.C. Mini-Cooper “S”. This was the fourth successive win in this event by a Mini-Cooper “S”, in 1964 Ronnie McCartney and Terry Harryman won in a 1071 “S”, Hopkirk and Harryman won in 1965 in a 1275 “S”, and last year victory went to Tony Fall and Henry Liddon in another 1275 “S”. It was also Hopkirk’s fifth Circuit win.

Ivan Allen smiles as Mervyn Johnston chats with the starter. Perhaps she also had an 848cc Mini. Photo ECP.

The Belfast driver, who is universally hailed as one of the top rally exponents in the World to-day, won his first Circuit in a works-sponsored Triumph TR3 back in 1958. In 1961 and ’62 he won in works Sunbeam Rapiers, and again in 1965 in a works Mini-Cooper “S”. Last year Hopkirk and Harryman made a spectacular exit from the Circuit on the first night, when they escaped unhurt after a high speed roll in their works Mini-Cooper “S” during the Lough Eske Special Section in Co. Donegal.

Second overall were Adrian Boyd and Beatty Crawford in the second works-entered, 1275 c.c. Mini-Cooper “S”. Boyd won the 1960 Circuit in an Austin-Healey Sprite Mark 1, and was third overall last year in a privately-entered Ford Cortina G.T., again with Crawford in the “hot seat”. He has had quite a hectic Circuit career in recent years. In 1961 he drove a Daimler SP250 V8 sports car, and the following” year he was back in a Sprite and finished second in his class. He drove a works Sunbeam Rapier into third place overall, notched up a class win, was a member of the winning One Make Team Award (with Rosemary Smith and John La Trobe), and also won the Autosport Trophy in 1963. The following year he led on Easter Sunday in an Alan Fraser Humber Super Snipe, but lost a lot of time through getting bogged down on a soft shoulder and eventually finished with a class second. His 1965 Circuit ended on the Sally Gap in Co. Wicklow on Easter Saturday morning, when he left the road in a big way in a works Sunbeam Tiger V8.

Third overall and first privately-entered crew, Charlie Gunn and Norman Henderson on one of the forest sections in the North. Their Lotus Cortina shows sign of contact with something along the way.

By finishing third overall to two works B.M.C. Cars, Charlie Gunn and Norman Henderson in a Ford Lotus Cortina won the Gallaher Trophy for the best performance by a privately entered crew, and also earned the same cash award of £250 as the outright

Gunn has never won the Circuit, but in recent years the popular Dublin driver has figured in the awards list on several occasions. In 1961 he finished second in his class, behind Hopkirk, in a Hillman Minx. He drove an M.G.A. and a Ford Zephyr in the 1962 and ’64 Circuits, respectively, and on both occasions finished third in his class. He again finished third in his class in 1965, behind two works Ford Cortinas, finished fifth overall in his privately-entered Cortina G.T. and won the Castlereagh Trophy. Last year. Gunn was lying third overall in his Ford Cortina G.T. but on the very last stage he went off the road in the Davagh Forest Special Section, to retire within sight of the finish.

Ronnie McCartney, in characteristic crouching pose, presses on with Mike Hart towards a fine fourth place overall and second placed privateer.

Another man with a good Circuit record, including an outright victory, is Ronnie McCartney who finished fourth in his 1293 c.c. Mini-Cooper “S”, navigated by Mike Hart. His win in 1964 was an outstanding example of sheer determination when all the cards were stacked against him finishing at all, let alone finishing first. McCartney cracked the sump of his 1071 c.c. Mini-Cooper “S” on the second of the eighteen Special Sections, and with constant plugging of the crack with rags and Isopon, plus the addition of no less than 20 gallons of oil, the engine managed to stay in one piece throughout the event.

If that was not enough trouble, McCartney and co-driver/navigator Terry Harryman, had to mend three punctures, replace a faulty petrol pump, and their lights blew out when the cable to the electronic rev. counter came adrift! A Renault Gordini R8 was McCartney’s mount in last year’s Circuit, in which he was placed tenth overall and winner of Class 2.

Norman Thompson and Herbie Marshall were unlucky to have a gearbox problem at the end of Tim Healy Pass, and had to wait until the road opened to get help. That was the end of their weekend, except for an exciting tow home behind another Imp.

Roy Fidler and Attis Krauklis finished a gallant fifth in a works-sponsored Triumph 2000, after losing a lot of time on the Moll’s Gap Special Section due to a punctured tyre. Fidler won his class, which he also did last year when he finished fourth overall, and in 1965 he was second in his class and ninth overall. This year he was the first non-Irish driver to finish, and this earned for him the Oonagh Reid Trophy.

Noel Smith, reigning National Rally Champion (under R.I.A.C. control), broke his recent bad spell of Circuit luck by finishing sixth overall with Ricky Foott in his 1293 c.c. Mini-Cooper “S”. His first Circuit was in 1961, when he won the Novice Award in an N.S.U. Prinz 30, and he was third in his class in an N.S.U. Prinz 4 the following year. He was leading his class, again in a Prinz 4 in 1963, but had to retire when a replacement exhaust system would not fit and he ran out of time at Omagh on Easter Tuesday morning. He was also lying eighth overall at the time. Smith finished second in his class and 6th overall in a Mini-Cooper in ’64, but the gremlins struck again in the last two Circuits, in which he was forced to retire. He was in particularly hard luck in ’65 when his Mini-Cooper “S” went out with a holed sump on the last stage, as he was leading his class and lying seventh overall.

Another Smith finished seventh, the attractive Rosemary Smith, in a works Sunbeam Rally Imp. Rosie, navigated by Mrs. Susan Seigle-Morris, won the Ladies Award for the siXth time. Her first Circuit was in 1960, and she won the Ladies’ Award with Mrs. Delphine Bigger. Since then she has made this award her personal property, winning it in 1963, in a Sunbeam Talbot, in ’64 in a Sunbeam Alpine, and in ’65 and ’66 in Imps. She was also the winner of Class 6 this year, and her high overall placing certainly justifies her much-publicised criticism of the Ulster A.C.’s decision to place her as low as number 19 on the seeded entry list!

First of the three well-turned out Fort Cortina G.T.s entered by Super Sport Engines Ltd. of London was car number 23 driven by Chris Lovell and David Michael in ninth place. Tenth overall were Ken Shields and Peter Lyster in a Vauxhall Cresta. Shields always drives big Vauxhalls in the Circuit to such good effect that he won his class in 1964 and ’65 and was second to Fidler’s Triumph 2000 last year and this year.

A broken windscreen meant that Ken Shields drove for over 100 miles until a temporary repair could be made. A borrowed pair of goggles made life a bit easier. A fabulous 10th place overall was the end result in the Vauxhall Cresta. Photo F&S.

Class winners were: M. J. Johnston/I. Allen (Austin Mini), A. Eakin/F. P .P. Johnston (970 Austin-Cooper “S”); Hopkirk/Harryman; Gunn/Henderson; Fidler/Krauklis and Smith/Seigle-Morris.

It might be only 848cc but Mervyn Johnston brought it home as Class winner and 29th Overall, ahead of much more powerful machinery.

“Bigger and Better than Ever”-—-This was the official boost given the Gallaher Circuit of Ireland International Rally by the Ulster Automobile Club in one of their early press releases.

Thanks again to the generous sponsorship of Messrs. Gallaher Ltd, the cigarette, cigar and tobacco manufacturers, the cash awards amounted to over £1,000. In order to encourage private entrants, a cash award of £250 was presented with the Gallaher Trophy for the best performance by a privately-entered crew. This was equal to the cash award presented with the Ulster Automobile Club Trophy for the best outright performance. Works crews had only three cash awards to fight for, but no less than ten cash awards were there to be collected by private entrants. This was a good division of the cash, as only seventeen of the ninety-eight crews entered were classed as works entries.

More Special Sections, speed tests over closed roads and over a number of forestry tracks, were staged this year. These Special Sections over public roads are a unique feature of the Circuit, and in fact the Circuit had approximately 315 miles of such Sections, whereas the famous Monte Carlo Rally had only 275 miles of Special Sections this year.

Navigation was entirely on the universally popular Tulip Section of route-finding by the use of printed diagrams, instead of the old and complicated method of plotting by map references—which baffled overseas navigators and offered a considerable, and often unfair, advantage to crews with extensive “local” knowledge.

The event was divided into five distinct stages:
Stage 1, Ballymena to Carlow (Good Friday/Easter Saturday);
Stage 2, Carlow to Killarney (Easter Saturday);
Stage 3, Killarney to Killarney (Easter Sunday);
Stage 4, Killarney to Sligo (Easter Monday);
Stage 5, Sligo to Larne (Easter Monday/Easter Tuesday).

A breakfast stop was held at Carlow, there were two overnight stops at Killarney and a supper stop at Sligo.

Recceing of Special Sections was completely banned this year, and the use of pace notes, except in the case when Sections were previously used, were also banned. This rule was enforced in order to avoid any inconvenience or annoyance to local people residing in areas where Special Sections were held, and to travellers using such roads in the course of their normal daily business. It also put private entrants on a more equal footing with the works crews, who usually can afford more time and the considerable cost of carrying out a worthwhile programme of recceing or practising.

The Average Speed required on any highway open to the public, never exceeded 30 m.p.h. and any competitor averaging more than 40 m.p.h. was eligible for heavy penalty marks. All times recorded at Controls and Time Checks were stamped on Time Cards by Longines Automatic Printing Clocks, operated solely by competitors.

Ken Shields and Peter Lyster were glad they had a temporary windscreen by the time they encountered the snow and ice. Photo F&S.

Although the road sections were not by any means difficult, there was precious little time for any major repairs to be carried out. Only rapid stops for tyre changes, and routine servicing, petrol and oil fill-ups etc., were generally possible. Nevertheless only seven crews earned special awards for loosing no marks on the road.

Organisation of the 1967 Gallaher Circuit was absolutely spot on, and maybe next year the Ulster Automobile Club and Gallahers will be better rewarded for their efforts with a truly International line-up of drivers?

24-28 MARCH, 1967. RESULTS:

  1. P. B. Hopkirk/T. A. Harryman (B.M.C. Cooper “S”) 357.8
  2. A. J. L. Boyd/D. B. Crawford (B.M.C. Cooper “S”) 408.7
  3. C. A. Gunn/N. Henderson (Ford Lotus Cortina) 415.9
  4. R. J. McCartney/M. Hart (Austin Cooper “S”) 439.1
  5. R. Fidler/A. Krauklis (Triumph 2000) 458.5
  6. N. T. Smith/R. H. Foott (B.M.C. Cooper “S”) 468.9
  7. Miss R. Smith/Mrs. S. Seigle-Morris (Sunbeam Rally Imp) 511.2
  8. D. McCartney/H. Johnston (Austin Cooper “S”) 552.9
  9. C. D. Lovell/D. J. B. Michael (Ford Cortina G.T.) 558.3
  10. W. K. Shields/P. Lyster (Vauxhall Cresta) 580.4

Class 1 (Touring Oars up to 850 c.c.)

  1. M. J. Johnston/I. Allen (Austin) 771.9;
  2. H. I. S. Catherwood/J. McCosh (Austin) 831.8;
  3. I. Woodruff/M. A. Frowen (Austin) 875.9.

Class 2 (Touring Cars, 850-1150 c.c.)

  1. J. A. Eakin/F. P. P. Johnston (Austin Cooper) 590.2;
  2. R. White/H. Hagan (B.M.C. Cooper) 644.6;
  3. T. J. Lawther/H. P. Brown (Austin Cooper) 831.9.

Class 3 (Touring Cars, 1150-1300 c.c.)

  1. P. B. Hopkirk/T. A. Harryman (B.M.C. Cooper “S”) 357.8
  2. A. J. L. Boyd/D. B. Crawford (B.M.C. Cooper “S”) 408.7
  3. R. J. McCartney/M. Hart (Austin Cooper “S”) 439.1

Class 4 (Touring Cars, 13004600 c.c.)

  1. C. A. Gunn/N. Henderson (Ford Lotus Cortina) 415.9;
  2. C. D. Lovell/D. J. B. Michael (Ford Cortina G.T.) 558.3;
  3. D. S. F. Thompson/D. Johnston (Ford Cortina G.T.) 5 4. .

Class 5 (Touring Cars over 1600 c.c.)

  1. R. Fidler/A. Krauklis (Triumph 2000) 458.5
  2. W. K. Shields/P. Lyster (Vauxhall Cresta) 580.4
  3. J. E. Cotton/P. McClintock (Peugeot 404) 666.1

Class 6 (Grand Touring Cars up to 1300 c.c.)

  1. Miss R. Smith/Mrs. S. Seigle-Morris (Sunbeam Rally Imp) 511.2;
  2. W. Sutton/R. S. Morris (Hillman Imp) 708.7;
  3. W. H. Scott/K. Atkinson (M.G. Midget) 924.7.

Ulster Automobile Club Trophy (best performance in the Rally): P. Hopkirk.
Gallaher Trophy (best performance by a private entrant): C. A. Gunn
H. A. Bryson Trophy (Best performance by a N. Ireland Crew): A. J. L. Boyd
Castlereagh Trophy (best performance by a Republic of Ireland Crew): N. T. Smith
Oonagh Reid Trophy (best performance by Overseas Crew): R. Fidler
Autosport Trophy (best performance by Crew with other International Rally experience): P. Hopkirk
Novices Trophy (best performance by Crew who have not previously won an International Rally award): D. Carnegie.
Knockmanny Trophy (best performance by Crew who have not previously competed in an International Rally): J. T. F. Gale
O’Connor-Rorke Trophy (best performance by Ladies Crew): Miss R. Smith
Set of Koni Shock Absorbers (best performance by a Crew not winning any other major award): D. McCartney.
Killarney Trophy (best performance on Easter Sunday, 26th March): P. Hopkirk


The Antrim Trophy (Class 1): M. J. Johnston:
The Armagh Trophy (Class 2): J. A. Eakin;
The Down Trophy (Class 3): P. Hopkirk;
The Fermanagh Trophy (Class 4): C. A. Gunn;
The Tyrone Trophy (Class 5): R. Fidler;
The Londonderry Trophy (Class 6): Miss R. Smith.

Open Team Award: Team “D” (D. Carnegie, P. O’Callaghan, T. Burke)

Club Team Award: Omagh Motor Club (R. J. McCartney, W. A. Armstrong, J. A. Eakin)

One Make Team Award: B.M.C. Cooper “S” Team (R. J. McCartney, N. T. Smith, D. McCartney).

Cash Awards:


  1. P. Hopkirk, £250;
  2. A. J. L. Boyd, £150;
  3. R. Fidler, £75.


  1. C. A. Gunn, £250;
  2. R. J. McCartney, £150;
  3. N. T. Smith £75;
  4. D. McCartney, £60;
  5. W. K. Shields, £40;
  6. J. A. Eakin, £30;
  7. D. S. F. Thompson, £25;
  8. D. Carnegie, £20;
  9. R. White, £15;
  10. W. A. Armstrong, £10.

Waterford Cut-Glass Tankards (awarded to first drivers of crews losing no marks on navigation):
P. Hopkirk,
C. A. Gunn,
A. J. L. Boyd,
N. T. Smith,
Miss R. Smith,
C. D. Lovell,
T. Burke.


11th, J. A. Eakin/F. P. P. Johnston (970 Austin-Cooper “S”) 590.2;
12th, D. S. F. Thompson/D. Johnston (Ford Cortina GT) 594.6;
13th, D. Carnegie/N. N. Davin (1293 Austin-Cooper “S”) 608.0;
14th, R. White/H. Hagan (999 B.M.C.-Cooper “S”) 644.0;
15th, W. A. Armstrong/R. Davies (1293 Morris—Cooper “S”) 657.0;
16th, J. E. Bullough/D. E. Barrow (Ford-Lotus-Cortina) 664.8;
17th, J. E. Cotton/P. McClintock (Peugeot 404) 666.1;
18th, T. A. Burke/F. B. Geary (Volkswagen 1300) 674.2;
19th, J. T. F. Gale/M. B. O‘Carroll (1275 Austin-Cooper “S”) 6762;
20th, J. S. Henry/W. M. Maguire (1293 Austin~Co0per “S”) 679.9;
21st, W. J. Coleman/D. Suillebhain (Ford Cortina GT) 682.8;
22nd. J. S. Moore/J. W. S. Scott (Ford Cortina GT) 687.2;
23rd. W. Sutton/R. S. Morris (Hillman Rally Imp) 708.7;
24th, P. O’Callaghan/H. McEvoy (Volkswagen 1500) 739.9;
25th, K. W. Edwards/Miss M. E. Walford (Fort Cortina GT) 740.6;
26th, C. B .Curley/A. Frazer (Ford Cortina GT) 742.4;
27th, W. Mellis/D. Lockyear (Ford Cortina GT) 744.6;
28th, R. G. Cooper/I. K. Cooper (Ford Cortina GT) 748.0;
29th, M. J. Johnston/l. Allen (Austin Mini) 771.9;
30th, L. Mooney/A. W. R. Park (Volkswagen 1500) 773.5;
31st, A. S. King/I. Lang (Ford Cortina GT) 818.3;
32nd. J. S. Hill/l. A. M. Price (1275 Morris-Cooper “S”) 820.9;
33rd. R. J. Eakin/J. B. Nelson (1275 Austin-Cooper “S”) 826.3;
34th H. I. S. Catherwood/J. McCosh (Austin Mini) 831.8;
35th, T. J. Lawther/H. P. Brown (Austin-Cooper) 831.9;
36th, L. P. Dawson/K. Garlick (Ford Cortina GT) 873.4;
37th, I. Woodruff/M. A. Frowen (Austin Mini) 875.9;
38th, W. H. Scott/K. Atkinson (M.G. Midget) 924.7;
39th, W. L. Doggart/R. B. Spokes (Ford Cortina GT) 939.8;
40th, W. H. Cathcart/V. G. Morrison (Morris-Cooper) 950.4;
41st, L. Cowan/Y. Champeau (Morris-Cooper) 955.5;
42nd, R. H. Rennicks/L. Breslin (Peugeot 404) 977.5.