1972 BBN October Rally

Gerry Campbell and Derek Smyth took their maiden win on the BBN October Rally.


This report is reproduced from WHEELS Magazine, December 1972. Report by Peter Scott.

During the past year Belfast, Bangor and Newtownards Motor Club have had a lot of trouble in the planning of events, as the security forces did not like people rushing round in cars close to Belfast.

In October they ran their first Rally for quite a while. Clerk of the Course being Brian Dorman. The event started in Ballymena, covered ninety miles and had three short selectives which were partly loose. Top seeds Tom Lawther and Hugh Brown, in their familiar Cooper S, had navigation problems, it being rather a long time since Hugh was on a navigation event.

After the three selectives, and one interesting road section outside Portglenone where there was a stop for petrol, the leaders were Paul Martin and Peter Scott in the pushrod Escort, who were just ahead of the Cooper Ss of Derek and Brian Russell and Gerry Campbell/Derek Smyth. The navigators had to work hard on the next section with a few tricky junctions, and it was on this that the Campbell/ Smyth Mini took the lead, dropping just two minutes, this being one better than Russell and Martin.

Russell’s challenge ended on the way to the penultimate time control when the petrol tank air-locked, this costing them five minutes. Two semi-expert crews, Jack Adams/Brian Little (Escort) and Irvine Tanahill/Victor Armstrong (Cooper S), had been going very well all night and they, plus the winners, were in front on the last three time controls.

Also putting up good times were Jim and Joe Law in a new RS1600. Class three winners, R. McCarroll and C. McAuley, put in an excellent performance in coming sixth overall. Leading selective times were by Russell and Martin, tying on the first, the Mini driver taking the second and the Escort being well ahead on the last.


  1. Gerry Campbell / Derek Smyth (Cooper S) 6.4;
  2. Paul Martin / Peter Scott (Escort) 6.8;
  3. Irvine Tanahill / Victor Armstrong ** (Cooper S) 10.4;
  4. Jack Adams / Brian Little (Escort) ** 11.0;
  5. Derek and Brian Russell (Cooper S) 11.1;
  6. R. McCarroll / C. McAuley *** (Anglia GT) 12.2.

** Class 2
*** Class 3