1966 Scallon Cup Rally

Dessie McCartney, seen here in 1967, had a faultless run on the navigation section and, along with some great special stage times, took the win in 1966.

This report is reproduced from Wheel Magazine October 1966.

McCartney Cleans up in Omagh

Serious rallying restarted after the summer recess with the Omagh M.C‘s Scallon Cup on September 16/ 17th which was the third qualifier in the 1966 N.I. Rally Championship. This was an event in the style popularised by the Starlight with very long navigation sections, of usually 30 minutes each
and defined by passage controls, totalling some 200 miles plus 25 miles of forestry special stages. In addition there were two “selectives”, but in the opinion of the writer these are only an excuse for thinly disguised special stages on the open public road and should not be included indeed they are not necessary in an event of this type.

Generally the route was well chosen with the time allowance, if slightly generous, being well judged so that there. was only one clean sheet on the road section. Regrettably however there was some evidence of “fiddling” of the sealed watch system both by competitors and marshals. So disturbed was Clerk of the Course, Harry johnston, by some of the discrepancies revealed by watch checks etc. that he has threatened never to organise another Omagh event. The situation has prompted the organisers of at least two forthcoming restricted events to use the ‘Targa‘ system of timing whereby all timing is done by marshals watches.

Robert McBurney and Esler Crawford were in with a shout, but a damaged rear suspension forced them to limp to the finish in third place overall.

The winner of the rally was Des McCartney, the younger brother of Ronnie, who drove with great gusto all evening to record fastest time on four of the seven special stages and one of the “selectives” and, navigated by Terry Harryman, had the sole clean sheet on the road section. Second was Ronnie
White with Harold Hagan who was fastest on two of the stages and lost six minutes on the road. For three-quarters of the event Robert McBurney and Beatty Crawford were within striking distance of the winners but a very bumpy section of main road wrecked the rear suspension of their VW and they were lucky to limp home in third place.


  1. Des McCartney/Terry Harryman (1275 Mini-Cooper S) 115.8
  2. Ronnie White/Harold Hagan (1275 Mini-Cooper S) 154-8
  3. Robert McBurney/Esler Crawford (VW-Porsche) 162.0
  4. Noel Smith/Ken Atkinson (1275 Mini-Coopers) 162.0
  5. Ronnie McCartney/Mike Hart (Renault R8 Gordini) 166.0
  6. Adrian Boyd/Beatty Crawford (Ford Cortina G.T.) 180.3