MGCC IRISH CENTRE / RTE MC INTER-PROVINCIAL TV TRIAL
This report by Brian Foley first appeared in Autosport, 15 March 1968.
IRELAND’S first Inter-Provincial Trial was held last Saturday, with seven driving tests laid out in the grounds of the RTE Studios at Montrose, Dublin. Television audiences throughout Ireland saw Leinster score a sweeping victory over Connacht, Ulster and Munster.
Leinster was represented by Terry Power (Mini), Dermot Carnegie (1.3 Mini-Cooper S), Larry Mooney (Volkswagen) and George Reed (MG Midget). The other teams were similarly mounted. Driving for Connacht were Ray Murphy, Conor Linehan, Bill Johnson and Alan Murray; the much-fancied Ulster team comprised Ted Hobson, Ronnie McCartney, Robert Woodside and Harold Hagan; and the four from Munster were Paul O’Flynn, Demi Fitzgerald, Pat O’Callaghan and Tom Burke.
Leinster led from start to finish; after the first test they were 3 secs ahead of Connacht and 4 secs ahead of Ulster, with Munster already lagging 15.6 secs behind.
This order remained unchanged until the end, although Munster did catch up to challenge Ulster until their challenge disappeared on test 5, when Demi Fitzgerald flipped his 1.3 Mini onto its lid. The Ulstermen got dangerously close to the Connacht team, but the latter managed to keep second place by 9.6 secs at the end, although they were 34.6 secs behind the winning Leinster team.
The class winners were Power, Mooney, Reed and Linehan, who was the best performer of the day with BTD in five tests. Reed was fastest in test 1 and Carnegie won test 5.
The Ulstermen had a rather erratic day, and did not produce anything like the winning form displayed so many times in the Ken Wharton BBC TV driving tests. Perhaps the Montrose tests were too tight for
- Leinster, 1306.4 s;
- Connacht, 1340.0 s:
- Ulster, 1349.6 s;
- Munster, 1400.4 s.
Class winners: T. Power (Mini), 339.2 s; C. Linehan (1.3 Mini~Cooper S), 297.0 s; L. Mooney (Volkswagen), 338.0 s; G. Reed (MG Midget), 319.2 s.