Report reprinted from Motoring News 9 February 1978
Report by Ian Lynas
White at Home in the ruts.
ICY WINDS blowing up from the River Lagan greeted competitor and spectator alike for the Ulster AC Slalom at Ormeau Park, Belfast on Saturday, January 28. Despite the wintry conditions, the organising club attracted an entry of 40 plus, the Slalom circus last appearing here in May of last year when Ken Shields took the laurels.
In the morning practice, Ken with his immaculate Carrera shared the fastest time with the Downton Mini of Ronnie White while Jim Morton had a coming together with the barrier at the notorious “Bandstand” in his Donnelly Mini, without personal injury.
Before the afternoon official runs the course was found to be cutting up quite badly, which was to manifest itself in slower times all round. Indeed most of the better times were set in the first of the two runs, the best run to count. White posted a 1m. 25.65s which was not to be equalled. Although Shields tried very hard over the 1500 metre course, he had to finally settle for second best.
Mike Ford Hutchinson put in a very spirited drive to finish third overall with his 999 Mini, closely followed by Richard Douglas in his 1460 Mini. Derek Hanna completed the top five in his one litre Mini.
Two of the most entertaining drives came from Ronnie McCartney in his two-litre Sunbeam, fresh from a rally victory in the early hours of the morning at Cookstown, and Davy Francis, recent winner of the ‘Holfeld Pump Rally’, whose driving style is magic.