1967 DMC August Autotest



Report from Autosport 11 August 1967.

THE penultimate round in the Ulster Driving Test Championship series for the Paddy Hopkirk Trophy was organized by the Dungannon Motor Club at Megaberry airfield on 5th August. As has been usual with the last few events in the series, the entry was small – this time there were only 20 starters but high in quality, all the Championship contenders competing.

Roger Cree in his 1275 cc Sprite scored his first ever win with some fast but steady driving. Ronnie McCartney was second in his Mini-Cooper S and Robert Woodside third in his VW 1500, despite incurring a somewhat dubious line fault. Harold Hagan, the Championshiip leader, somehow incurred a fail and finishe well down the field.

Eight excellent wide-open tests had been laid out and each had to be attempted once. At test one Robert Woodside set up the first of his five fastest times with 27.6s. Only 0.6sec behind came Ted Hobson in his 848 Mini, followed closely by Ronnie McCartney just 0.4sec slower.

McCartney took the honours at the next test and his time of 23.0s was just 0.2sec in front of Ken Shields (VW 1500), who was a similar amount ahead of Derek Boyd (VW 1300) and Woodside. Woodside really showed everybody the way at the third test, where he was 1.2sec ahead of Shields, Cree and Charles Crawford (VW 1500), who all tied.

Test four was a good blind and called for a tricky handbrake turn over a line. Despite executing this superbly, Roger Cree was still 0.2 sec slower than Woodside, but a full 1 sec ahead of Hagan, who was third fastest.

Some tricky reversing was called for in the fifth test where Woodside was again best with a time of 23.0 s; he was followed at 0.2 sec intervals by Boyd, Hagan, David Grant (Mini-Cooper) and Crawford. Woodside repeated the performance at the next test but this time it was McCartney who was second best, 0.4 sec slower, and in turn 0.2 sec faster than Crawford. It was in this test that Hagan incurred a fail when he handbraked in the wrong direction.

Roger Cree had his moment of glory at the seventh test where he made fastest time with 31.2s; Woodside was next best in 32.0s followed by Ronnie McCartney (32.2s). It was during the final test that Woodside blotted his copybook by incurring a line fault which very few people seem to have seen.

Hagan was fastest here in 28.0s followed by Sidney Poots (Mini-Cooper S), 0.4sec slower, and Cree and McCartney.

Due to the fact that the two main contenders for the Championship title both incurred penalties, the result is still wide open and the scene is all set for a great decider at Braslee on 16th September.



  1. R. Cree (1.3 Austin-Healey Sprite), 243 marks;
  2. R. J. McCartney (1.3 Mini-Cooper S), 243.8;
  3. R. J. Woodside (VW 1500), 244.6;
  4. D. D. Boyd (VW 1300), 245.4;
  5. E. Hobson (Mini), 248.01;
  6. C. Crawford (VW 1500), 249.0.