Northern tests to Woodside.
This report is reproduced from Motorweek, 11th of April 1970, and report and pictures are by Esler Crawford.
With the Gallagher Circuit of Ireland still a talking point, motor sport took a quieter and less spectacular form last Saturday when the Northern Motor Club organised a test meeting at Maghaberry.
A smallish entry of just 20 cars took part in a two-lap five-test course, but with this being one of the newest clubs in the province, and people taking a rest after the activities of the Easter weekend, this was not a bad turnout. However, there might have been a few more entries had the entrance to the airfield not been locked before everyone had gotten in!
Of the early runners, Charles Crawford controlled his Midget nicely on a wet and very slippery surface and recorded 31.2 in the first test. This was later bettered by Ken Irwin, who was trying his rally Cooper for a change instead of his more usual Midget, and was sharing the driving with John Lyons.
Then, right at the end, late as usual, came the dreaded Robert Woodside in a Beach Buggy, fitted with a new set of Ford 13 inch wheels, and he put everyone in their place with a time of 29.0.
Roger Cree got off to a bad start with a line fault, and then did even worse by failing the second test, which was also taken by Woodside and 38.0 with Crawford on 41.4 and Irwin on 43.0. It was again Woodside in test three more than three seconds faster than Irwin with John Lyons third.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, Woodside was again best in the fourth test from Cree and Albert Lucas’ Mini. Just to do the thing properly, the “King” also took the last test of the first lap-6 seconds faster than next man, Charles Crawford!
At this point Woodside therefore led the field – by a margin of 23 seconds! Second was Ken Irwin, third was Charles Crawford and John Lyons was fourth.
As if to give someone else a chance, Woodside had a line fault at test six and fastest time went to Irwin with Lee Lucas doing a very good time in his Vauxhall Viva. However, it was Buggy back to the fore in test seven with Lucas again doing wonders in the Vauxhall.
Test number eight, and it was again…. well, what’s the point?! This time it was Albert Lucas second-best along with Lyons. Then, at last, someone else got into the act in a straight fight, with Roger Cree taking test nine from Lyons and Irwin, with Woodside a surprising fourth fastest.
As if perturbed by the reverse in form, Woodside immediately made a mess of the last test with two line faults and best time went to Lyons from Albert Lucas, and Roger Cree. On the second lap, it was John Lyons who was overall fastest with 198.22 followed by Albert Lucas on 203.0, and then Woodside on 203.6.
But of course this made not the slightest difference to the final result which gave Woodside a very convincing 23 second win after a recent break from competition during which time he acquired a family. Obviously the worries of fatherhood are not weighing too heavily!
- Robert Woodside (GP Beach Buggy) 377.8;
- Ken Irwin (BMC Cooper S) 400.6;
- John Lyons (BMC Cooper S) 404.5;
- Charles Crawford (MG Midget) 407.7;
- Albert Lucas (BMC Mini) 411.8;
- Lee Lucas (Vauxhall Viva GT) 424.9;
- Brian Robinson (BMC Mini) 447.1;
- Roger Cree (AH Sprite) 458.9;
- Jim Greenwood (BMC Cooper S) 495.3;
- Ronnie Foreman (unknown) 563.2.