This article is reproduced from Carsport June 1984. Report by Derek Coates and photos by Alan Harvey.
Reaney Wins Slick Tests
The 4th round of the N.I. Autotest Championship was held on Saturday 11th May promoted by the Magherafelt & District M.C. Like Coleraine two weeks earlier. the Magherafelt Club were new to the Championship, and once again the competitors were treated to a well organised and slickly run event, although some of the tests were a little tight for the larger cars.
As the event got under way one could see that unlike the previous rounds, William Rutherford and Robert Dickson were not going to have it all to themselves again.
Stephen Reaney, the man who has been threatening the establishment over the past two years, had taken a substantial lead in his Joshua White Cooper S. Rutherford and Dickson had collected faults and by Test 6 were in third and fourth spot respectively. But the man in second spot was none other than many-times Eire Champion, Dermot Carnegie, sharing one of Norman Ferguson‘s Mini-Specials. Dermot had also collected faults and he was about 6 secs from Reaney with three tests to go. If anyone could reduce the deficit it would be Carnegie.
Young Stephen was running ahead of the field so the pressure must have been enormous in those final few minutes it took to complete the tests. He got every encouragement, especially from fellow competitor Dickson, such is the high standing Stephen is held within the Autotest circle. At the end Stephen held out to win by over 4 secs from Robert Dickson with William Rutherford third. Dermot Carnegie finished in fourth place after collecting 5 secs pylon fault on the last test which cost him second spot.
Fifth place was taken by Norman Ferguson, who in fact had finished over an hour earlier so as to catch a plane to England to join Ken Irwin as u competitor in a round of the British Autotest Championship. (Keen competitors indeed!!) The top six was once again filled by Colin Earney in his very smart 1.3 engined Metro City.
Class one was won by Robert Dickson in his Kane of Comber Metro-Special. Class two for sports cars was won by Noel Cochrane. Class three for Mini saloons was of course the Property of Stephen Reaney. Class four for small saloons was dominated by Colin Earney who won by 20 secs from Ken Shields (Metro). In Class five Lee Lucas got his revenge for his Coleraine breakage when Derek Coates had a tyre blow out after hitting a high kerb and collecting a pylon on test three. Derek was unable to respond after this and therefore gives Lee a fairly comfortable lead in the class championship.
TOP 10 OVERALL:
- Stephen Reaney. 312.80;
- Robert Dickson. 317.11;
- William Rutherford. 319.10;
- Dermot Carnegie. 321.60;
- Norman Ferguson, 329.40;
- Colin Earney. 331.40;
- Noel Cochrane. 337.40;
- Sam Bowden_ 347.00;
- Roger Cree, 348.70;
- Ken Shields. 351.40.