Linehan leads Eire national championship
This report, by Brian Foley, first appeared in Autosport August 13, 1970.
Alter three rounds of Eire‘s Castrol National Autocross Championship, the points table shows Conor Linehan at the top with his 1.3 Amoco Cooper S, leading John Hayes (1.1 Cooper S) with 14 points to 13; John Tansey (DKW Special), Bob Bradley (B-Special), Dave Ray (1.3 Cooper S) and Larry Mooney (JCB VW) are all lying third with 11 pts each. Of these, Tansey is the best placed as he scored his points in only two rounds, and with the fourth round to be held on yet another fast course, his screaming “Deek” Special will take some catching.
The Galway Motor Club held their round at Athenry on the same day as the Leinster Trophy Mondello, Sunday, July 12, but the counter-attraction of the race meeting did not detract from the event, which had an entry of over 40. The battle for BTD was between local men Linehan and Ray, with Ray the Championship leader after the opening round.
The honours went to Linehan, and third behind Ray came another Galway driver, Bradley in the rear-engined but Mini-based B-Special. The other classes were won by John Dempsey’s blown 850 Mini, Tansey, Jack Thomas (1.5 VW Special) and Gerry McNamara (Escort TC), winner of the recent Circuit of Munster Rally.
The Co. Cavan Motor Club held their round over a very fast 1.17-mile course at Oldcastle, Co. Meath, on the last Sunday in July. The quick Minis and Escorts should have been in their element on this fast course, but in fact it proved a ﬁeld day for the specials. Tansey was really flying, screaming the two-stroke motor to BTD at 3m 47.2s. Thomas, surely the most improved Irish autocross exponent of the season, was next at 3:52.6, and Bradley got down to 3:53.4.
Then John Hayes whacked the bigger Ss with his 1.1 litre, clocking 3:55.6, with reigning champion Cecil Vard returning 3:57.4 in the 2.4 Corvair-powered Beach Buggy, and Linehan sixth at 3:58.0.
Class winners were Alan Park (850 Mini Spl), Tansey, Bradley and Thomas.