Hagan hangs in there!
This report first appeared in Autosport magazine 23 April 1970.
The second round of the 1970 Ulster Autotest Championship for the Hopkirk Trophy was organised by the Belfast Bangor and Newtownards Motor Club in the Rolls-Royce car park at Dundonald last Saturday. A good entry of well over 30 contested ten good tests, which, by reason of their open nature (plenty of circling pylons in a forward direction but not in reverse), favoured the Spridgets, as the results show.
It was a pity that the province’s two best drivers, Ronnie McCartney and Robert Woodside, did not put in an appearance, but additional interest was added by a quintet of Southern drivers headed by Eire Champion Dermot Carnegie in his 1000 Mini, which was rather outclassed in the fast tests.
Right from the start the issue was between the Midget of Harold Hagan, which is now three years old and has also been used for circuit racing, and the brand new Sprite of Roger Cree. At the halfway mark Hagan had pulled out tiny lead with a loss of 180.5 marks, with Cree just 1.4 behind, Carnegie third on 186.8, and Charles Crawford (Midget) fourth.
In the second half Hagan managed to hang on to his lead and even stretch it slightly, so that at the finish the score was Hagan 356.9 and Cree 358.7, while Crawford had pulled up very well to take third place.
A welcome visitor to the event was Southern area large saloon champion Ian Henderson, who took a very unlikely looking Audi 100 around with great precision and speed, although he could not quite challenge the customarily well driven Viva of Lee Lucas,
- W. H. Hagan (MG Midget), 356.9;
- R. G. Cree (Austin-Healey Sprite), 358.7;
- C. S. Crawford (Midget), 360.0;
- C. Irwin (Mini-Cooper), 366.3;
- J. C. Lyons (Mini-Cooper S), 371.5;
- W. D. C. Grant (Mini-Cooper S), 372.1;
- D. Carnegie (Mini 1000), 374.0;
- W. K. Shields (VW 1500), 376.0;
- D. D. Boyd (VW 1500), 378.6;
- R. Mullen (Mini 850), 379.2.
Class- winners: H. Hagan (MG M Midget), C. Irwin (Mini Cooper); K. Shields (VW 1500); R. Dugan (Vauxhall Viva); E. A. Lucas (Vauxhall Viva); C. J. Ward (Mini-Cooper S).