1970 First NI Rallycross

Ronnie White's 1.4 Cooper S on its winning way at Kirkistown.


This report, by Esler Crawford, is reproduced from Autosport Magazine, November 5, 1970.

On October 24, 1970, Larne MC organised what was, perhaps surprisingly, the first rallycross to be held in Ireland. The reason for this is probably the shortage of suitable venues, but with financial encouragement from W.D.& H.O. Wills and the co-operation of the 500 MRCI, the first event of this type did at last take place at the Kirkistown circuit.

Here a circuit of just under a mile, which took in the Colonial section and the grass of the infield, provided a fine afternoon’s sport. It was attended by a very good crowd, despite rather inhospitable weather, and they went home happy having seen something much more exciting than the usual dreary autocross, which has been tending to give Irish motor sport a bad name of late.

The overall winner was Ronnie White in his extensively developed 1400 Cooper S with two very consistent four-lap runs in 4 m 15.8 s and 4:13.4; then, with the course quite badly cut up, he finished with an unofficial run-off in 4:13.8. His nearest challenger was Ronnie Wilson in a very fast Cooper S Special, but his first run of 4:l6.2 was spoiled by a couple of marker flags, and on the second run he did not seem able to avoid the worst of the bumps and could only record 4:19.4.

Third was his brother Desmond in the same car, who provided some fine marker-bashing entertainment during a spirited battle with Derek Boyd (Escort TC) and Roy McBurney (GP Beach Buggy). George McAllister‘s Mini-Cooper went end-over-end without doing the driver any personal injury.

A somewhat surprising, but nevertheless very good, fourth overall was Aubrey O’Hara. Hubert Smyth confirmed himself as one of the up and coming men by taking fifth place with his 999 Cooper S, ahead of Paddy Speer’s 998 imp.

The best placed car with the engine at the opposite end from the driven wheels was the BMW 2002Ti of Robert McBurney after a couple of splendid battles with the Escort TC of Adrian Boyd. Boyd equalled the time achieved by the little 875 Imp of George Windrum.


  1. Ronnie White (1.4 Mini Cooper S) 4:13.4;
  2. Ronnie Wilson (1.3 BLMC Special) 4:19.4;
  3. Desmond Wilson (1.3 BLMC Special) 4:25.4;
  4. Aubery O’Hara (1.3 Mini Cooper S) 4:25.6;
  5. Hubert Smyth (1.0 Mini Cooper S) 4:26.6;
  6. Pat Speer (998 Sunbeam Imp) 4:28.6;
  7. Robert McBurney (2.0 BMW 2002) 4:33.6;
  8. G. Wilson (1.0 Cooper S) 4:35.2;
  9. Adrian Boyd (1.6 Escort TC) 4:35.4;
  10. George Windrum (875 Hillman Imp) 4:35.4


Hubert Smyth (999 Cooper S)
Aubery O’Hara (1.3 Cooper S)
Pat Speer (998 Sunbeam Imp)
Larry Mooney (1.6 VW Beetle)
Robert McBurney (2.0 BMW 2002)
Ronnie Wilson (1.3 BLMC Special)