Rallycross arrives in Eire
This report by Brian Foley first appeared in Autosport 22 January 1970.
THE Irish MRC, with sponsorship from Robin Rennicks, the Yokohama distributor, brought rallycross to a large Dublin audience at Ballycorus Quarry, Kilternan, on Sunday, January 11, 1970. But Conditions could scarcely have been any worse on that day, with heavy rain turning the grass-surfaced parts of the course into a huge mud pie, and fog reducing visibility considerably. Also, the course itself was
rather narrow in places, which eliminated overtaking, but this will be remedied for another rallycross in March, at which event cars will be started in pairs and not just one at a time.
Best in the terrible conditions was rallyman John Bridges in his 1.3 Cooper S, who recorded runs of 3m 25.6s and 3m 35.2s is to come out on top. Stee Griffin in his racing 1.3 Smarties Cooper S was next up, over 9 secs slower, and third fastest was Conor Linehan in another 1.3 S. Linehan was very spectacular on his first run, and came within an ace of writing off the car on the final lap when he came through the sweeping tarred bend at the finish in a vast slide and clipped a large pole at 80 mph!
The Escort TCs were expected to be more than well in the hunt, but this was not the case and fourth and fifth places also went to Cooper S drivers, Jimmy Reid and Des Cullen. Charlie Gunn pushed his jumping Escort into sixth, followed by Pat Fay (Renault R8 Gordini), Robert Maharry (1.3 S), Billy
Kilroy (1.3 S) and Larry Mooney (1.6 JCB VW).
- J. Bridges (1.3 Mini-Cooper S), 7m 0.8s;
- S. Griffin (1.3 Mini-Cooper S), 7m 9.4s;
- C. Linehan (1.3 Mini-Cooper S), 7m 23.6s;
- J. Reid (1.3 Mini-Cooper S), 7m 35.2s;
- D. Cullen (1.3 Mini-Cooper S), 7m 37.0s;
- C. Gunn (1.6 Ford Escort TC), 7m 53.2s.
Class winners: P.Regan (850 Mini), 8m 32.2s; Miss S.Sinclair (1.0 Mini-Cooper), 8m 39.0s; J.Bridges (1.3 Mini-Cooper S), 7m 0.8s; C.Gunn (1.6 Ford Escort TC), 7m 53.2s; P.Jenkins (1.2 Maddock-VW), 8m 23.0s.
Overall handicap: S. German (B50 Fiat 850), 6m 44.0s.