1973 Causeway Coast Rally

1973 Causeway Coast Rally.

This report reproduced from Motoring News, 5 December, 1973.

The combination of Adrian Boyd, Frank Main and the Lombard and Ulster Ford Rally Team Escort RS1600 proved too much for the opposition when they won the North Ulster Car Club’s Forward Trust Rally of the Causeway Coast held on November 24, 1973.  Nearly four minutes behind was the Escort RS1600 of David Lindsay and Duffy Cunningham, with Ronnie McCartney and Paul Phelan third in a Porsche Carrera.  

Although still plagued with exhaust problems, and failing electrics, Pat McCourt steered his Escort RS1600 into fourth place.  In fifth was David Agnew in his lightweight BMW 2002ti, high enough to give him the Ulster Rally Championship for the second year running.  Leslie White, sixth in an Escort TC, gained second position in the Championship.

Pat McCourt survived exhaust and electrical gremlins to take fourth place overall and second in class with Derek Smyth navigating.

Despite the shortness of the event, reduced to save petrol, the special stages were fast and demanding of both car and crew resulting in only 52 finishers out of 105 starters.  Notable absentees at the finish were Cahal Curley who damaged his suspension on the first stage, Robin Eyre-Maunsell, broken drive shaft, with Dessie McCartney, Paul Martin and Sean Campbell all retiring before lunch.

After the lunch at Aghadowey the pace hotted up with the remaining 78 crews tackling the well-known forests of Cam, Springwell, Glenshane and Banagher.  Those that found the pace too much were Noel Smith, broken differential, and Ron Neely who apart from losing his exhaust, had an argument with some rocks.

Dr Jimmy Stewart rolled his Capri 3000, while North Ulster Car Club members Dessie Nutt and Irvine Tannahill both crashed, the latter after managing to change his clutch at the lunch halt.

Irvine Tannahill and Brian Dorman in the Safari Park Cooper S would change a clutch at lunchtime, but would retire soon after.


  1. A.Boyd/F.Main (Escort RS1600) 62m 36s;
  2. D.Lindsay/D.Cunningham (RS1600) 66m 18s;
  3. R.McCartney/P.Phelan (Carrera) 66m 45s;
  4. P.McCourt/D.Smyth (RS1600) 67m 30s;
  5. D.Agnew/R.Harkness (BMW2002) 67m 39s;
  6. L.White/D.Todd (Escort TC) 70m 34s;
  7. N.Lindsay/D.Sandford (RS1600) 71m 32s;
  8. H.O’Brien/R.Lyons (Escort TC) 71m 57s.
  9. R.Kennedy/J.Allen (Escort)
  10. G.Campbell/T.O’Kane (Cooper S)