1970 Sport in the South – January

Carnegie Clinches Hewison

This Sport in the South report by Paul Phelan appeared in Motorweek dated 10th January 1970

For the fifth round of the Hewison test-trial championship, Dublin University Motor Club and the Leinster Car Club attracted the highest quality entry yet seen this season, for their Grafton Cup Trial last Saturday.

All the Hewison winners for the last 10 years were out, with the sole exception of Steve Griffin (1963-64-65) and even his G.T.S. had been loaned for the day. Shea Griffin (1960-61-62 champion) had his immaculate Griffin-Ford out for the first time in a championship trial in over 2 years, while Connor Linehan (1966), Dermot Carnegie (1967, and leading in the i968 series when foot and mouth forced its abandonment), and Leslie Vard (1969), were all in various sizes of Mini. The event was centred on Brittas, Co. Dublin, where an “old fashioned” road course had been laid out.

On the morning of the event, a layer of snow fell, making some of the test sites deceptively slippery. Alan Murray (Cooper S), from faraway Sligo, was best on test 1 on 33.0 secs. from Clive Peterson (998 Mini) on 33.4, and Carnegie (998), 33.6. Carnegie took the second test, 23.0, followed by Linehan (1098) 24.0, and Ray Murphy (998 Mini) 24.8. Vard (Cooper S) was on top in test 3, 40.2. Next best were Shea Griffin 41.0, and Carnegie 41.2. Larry Mooney (VW 1500) and Frank Lenehan (848 Mini) both overshot the stop-astride finish here.


Test 4 involved some rather tricky reversing, and saw Murray best again, 34.0, from Carnegie 35.0 and Peterson 35.2. Mooney’s hopes were completely shattered here, when the smaller than usual pylons could not be seen out the rear window of the Beetle, necessitating some “door-opening”, and resulting in a time of 50.0. Murray’s good, form was maintained on test 5, his 34.4 just beating Peterson’s 34.6, and 34.8 each for Griffin and Murphy. Jim Cullen (Cooper S) had the same wretched luck as in the previous couple of events — the car stuck in reverse, causing his third test failure in as many trials for the same reason.

Test 6 was on high ground, at a forest entrance, and was run on hard, polished snow. Carnegie really showed his mastery here, his 69.4 beating Peterson’s 70.0, while the rest of the field, led by Murray (73.2) were at a respectful distance. Con Linehan tried a front throw in an unusual place, and finished up pointing in the same direction as he had started, having executed a beautiful 360 degree spin on the ice. His time was 86.4. All the RWD cars were at a great disadvantage, with a long uphill reverse. Griffin was best of these 74.6.

At the end of lap 1, Carnegie led, 237.6, from Peterson 241.6, and Murray 243.6. The next group consisted of Murphy 250.6, Vard 251.2, and Griffin 254.2. Among the sports cars, Des Bradley (276.8) led Des Cullen (283.6), while Frank Fennell, going very well in his unsuitable Escort GT, was best RWD saloon, 286.8, from Mooney, 297.0.

Tests 7 to 12 were at the same sites as tests 1 to 6, and in fact, with the exception of test 10, were the same as on the first lap. Leslie Vard had a very lucky escape on the way to test 7 when he was confronted with a sideways lorry in a narrow, snowy road. The tailboard struck the Mini, rolling it on its side. The damage was slight, and no-one was injured. Obviously he must have been upset by this incident, and it is to his credit that he managed to gain a place on he second lap.

As on lap l, Murray was best on test 7, improving to 29.0. This time, he was followed by Griffin and Carnegie, both 30,4. Linehan took test 8, 22.8 from Carnegie and Murray, 23.2. On the ninth test, Carnegie was quickest, 28.2. beating Vard 39.0, and comparative newcomer Roy Ringwood (998 Mini), 41.2. Linehan had a non-stop astride on this lap.

At the altered test 10, Dermot was again best, 19.6, from Linehan and Murray 19.8. Murray won test 11, getting down to 33.4, ahead of Vard 34.0 and Carnegie 35.0.

Back to the “test trial on ice” again, Linehan had a phenomenal 60.8, but spoilt this with a pylon. Murray had best performance, 64.0, to Carnegie’s 64.2. Vard had 69.8, while Mooney was best RWD car this lap on 70.6.

So, having led the event from the second test, Dermot Carnegie scored his fourth win from five championship trials. He cannot now be beaten for the Hewison, but the placings will be strongly contested.


  1. D. Carnegie (998 Mini) 448.2;
  2. A. Murray (Cooper S) 459.2;
  3. C. Peterson (998 Mini) 468.2;
  4. L. Vard (Cooper S) 475.6;
  5. R. Murphy (998 Mini) 485.4;
  6. S. Griffin (Griffin) 488.4;
  7. R. Ringwood (998 Mini) 494.8;
  8. C. D. Linehan (1098 Mini) 500.8;
  9. W. D. Bradley (Midget) 533.8;
  10. L. Mooney (VW 1500) 534.8.

Hewison Placings after 5 events: (5 to count out of 7)

  1. D. Carnegie 72;
  2. R. Murphy 59;
  3. C. D. Linehan 57;
  4. L. Vard 53 in 4;
  5. A. Murray 57 in 4;
  6. L. Mooney 47;
  7. F. Lenehan 25 in 4;
  8. C. Peterson 23 in 2;
  9. D. Cullen 23 in 3; 16;
  10. W. D. Bradley 20 in 3.


Next Friday night, (16th) the first Southern rally of 1970 takes place. Co. Monaghan M.C. are holding their ‘New Year Rally,’ starting in Monaghan town at 9 p.m. The entire 200-mile route will be on tulip, in order to attract Northern entries who might_ otherwise be deterred by half-inch maps, and particularly the infamous Sheet 8.

Either 3 or 4 forestry stages will be used, totalling approx 20 – 25 miles. Regs from, and entries to: Ronnie Hawe, Cornamundy, Monaghan. (Phone Monaghan 466). Entries close on Monday, January 12, but I’m sure that the organisers will accept anyone they hear from by Tuesday night (R.I.A.C. 3-day entry Rule.)