1973 Jack Frost Rally

Trevor Fleming from Moira, seen here on another event with Brian Dorman, teamed up with Roy Sloan for the Jack Frost Rally to give David Agnew and Robert Harkness a run for their money.

Reproduced from a 1973 BB&NMC Gazette


After being postponed for one week to the 23rd/24th February due to snow a very icy Jack Frost rally was won by David Agnew and Robert Harkness in their standard VW 13025 from Trevor Fleming and Roy Sloan, with J.P.O’Kane and Mike Hart third.

Several of the original entry of 70 were eliminated by the date change, notably Sean Campbell, and the final line up saw navigator changes among most of the early numbers. The field was lead by the three Cooper’S’s of Ronnie White/Ian Turkington, Gerry Campbell/Brian Dorman and Trevor Fleming/Roy Sloan. The NSU-TTS of Terry Harryman/Derek Smyth was at 4 followed by the eventual winners at 5 and at 6, Ronnie McCartney had Paul Phelan with him for this event.


Joint Championship leaders before the event were Agnew/Harkness and Leslie White/Drew Todd who started at No.8 in a borrowed Escort G.T. after writing off their Escort T.C. in Galway.  From the start at J.P.O’Kanes garage near Castledawson, a 13-minute section led to T.C.A, the start of the first selective, and already the conditions were starting to play their part with the leading cars down 5 minutes, these being Ronnie White, Fleming, Harryman, O’Kane, Kyle/Speers and Nutt/White.

The first retirement was the yellow Gerry Campbell/Brian Dorman Laing Cooper’S’ with a well-blown engine.  From T.C.A, the 3-minute selective around Loves Hill was cleaned by most crews, but on the following section, losses were again high, with a tricky quarry presenting many difficulties.  Best here was Agnew 6-minutes down, Fleming, McCartney and Doherty/Montgomery dropping 7-minutes.  Fastest on the 2nd selective through Carneese was McCartney 5.7, followed by semi-experts Anderson/West and Nutt/White.  TC E was scrubbed due to a faulty watch and it was unfortunate that several crews waited at the control, among them McCartney and Fleming, as most crews were soon over maximum lateness.  At T.C.F Agnew dropped 3 mins., 1 minute less than Fleming, Harryman and Kennedy/Allen.  By T.C.G the only expert crews still inside their maximum lateness were Agnew/Harkness and Harryman/Smyth.

The BBN Gazette in which the rally report appeared in 1973.

Following a Service halt, there were Three Special Stages: Glenedra, Moydamlaght and Glenshane.  Agnew continued his good run by taking the fastest time in Glenedra and Glenshane, with most of the faster cars left fighting for grip.  Moydamlaght went to McCartney, a consistent Fleming being second fastest on all three.

On total stage penalties Fleming and McCartney tied with 7.8 ahead of Agnew 7.9, Kennedy 8.7 and novices Robinson/Kidd with a creditable 9.1 in their Anglia TC.  The only serious challenge to Agnew ended when the unfortunate Harryman went off at the particularly icy bend at Moneyneany, on the road section before the start of the first stage, rolling and badly damaging the N.S.U.

After a petrol halt came another two hours of navigation incorporating four selectives and, in deference to the conditions, maximum lateness was increased to one hour. Most crews cleaned the fourth selective at Ardincrive, although Fleming was beginning to suffer from waterlogged electrics. Ronnie White delayed by wrong slots earlier in the event was now going rapidly and took fastest on the fifth selective, the Dog Leap, comfortably ahead of McCartney.

The sixth selective, Kinnyglass, also fell to White, with Agnew second fastest this time. Several crews stopped on this one with wet electrics, McCartney losing 20 minutes.  Due to a misunderstanding here Kyle/Speers and White/Todd dropped 10 minutes after turning back thinking the selective to be blocked, and losing several places in the process.

Fleming his electrics now dried out, was fastest on the final selective, heading the Russell Bros. and Kennedy, and led the 34 surviving crews into the finish at the Brown Trout Inn. There was little doubt that Agnew and Harkness had won the event but it was unfortunate that so much confusion surrounded the following places, with some penalties wrongly applied. Although not at first listed as a finisher, Fleming/Sloan were found to be second when their missing time card was eventually found in a marshal’s car. Avengers took 3rd and 4th, O’Kane using a Tiger version while the Tennant’s car was powered by an ex-Cathal Curley Twin Cam engine!


Class 1
1st D.Agnew/R.Harkness VW 1302S (1st OA)
2nd T.Fleming/R.Sloan 1293 Cooper’S’ (2nd OA)
3rd J.P.0’Kane/M.Hart Avenger Tiger (3rd OA)
4th R.Kennedy/J.Allen Escort (5th OA)

Class 2
1st T.Tennant/B.Rowan Avenger (4th OA)
2nd R.B.Clarke/D.Todd 1275 Cooper’S’ (6th OA)
3rd D.Nutt/J.White 1275’s’ (8th OA)
4th J.Logan/P.Irvine Escort (11th OA)

Class 3
1st J.Gault/N.Mayne Escort
2nd D.Boyd/F.McKelvey 1293 Cooper’S’
3rd D.A.Lavery/P.K.Morrow Mexico.
4th G.Robinson/R.Kidd Anglia

Group 1 Class D.Agnew/R.Harkness VW 1302S