1982 Sperrin Rally

Tommy Speers and Joe Law took a comfortable win on the Maiden City Sperrin Rally.

This report is reproduced from Carsport December 1982

Sperrin Win for Speers and Law

Portglenone crew Tommy Speers and Joe Law in their Crawford Machinery sponsored R.S. 2000 had a convincing three minute win on last week-end’s Maiden City Motor Club’s Sperrin Rally. The event started from the spacious premises of Eakin Bros. in the Maydown Industrial Estate.

The main interest of the rally centred around the battle between the new Northern Ireland Rally Champions Kevin O’Kane and Godfrey Crawford from Omagh in their potent Sunbeam and the very fast Escort of Speers and Law. Seeded at number two were David McIlroy and Ronnie McKee in another Sunbeam, previous winners of the event, whilst at number seven David Throne and Declan McCay in an Escort 1600 were attempting to score enough points to clinch their local club rally championship.

David McIlroy and Ronnie McKee were third placed in their Sunbeam.

The first long 30 mile section held over some of the very good roads between Londonderry and Claudy was to prove decisive with Speers and Law pulling out a commanding lead over both Sunbeam crews – O’Kane and Mcllroy. From here to the Dungiven petrol halt the Portglenone pair protected their lead but some crews were finding the driving rain and flooded roads a real hazard. Thompson Harbison and Craig Serplus from Coleraine, last years winners, in their Escort had lost valuable time with exhaust problems but struggled on with an unhealthy sounding car to eventually finish in fifth place.

After petrol the action moved to the area north of Dungiven and on the first section O’Kane and Crawford took some time back and established themselves in a fairly secure second place but with little real hope of catching Speers and Law who further increased their lead on the final section.

Seamus McCloskey and John Kerlin were going well in Class II while the very consistent Hugh Hunter and Hugh McClean were once again in command of the novice class, and indeed this is how it remained to the finish with just twenty cars finishing – no doubt due to the adverse weather conditions and the treacherous nature of the roads.


  1. Tommy Speers/Joe Law (R.S.2000);
  2. Kevin O’Kane/Godfrey Crawford (Sunbeam);
  3. David McIlroy/Ronnie McKee (Sunbeam).

CLASS II: Seamus McCloskey/John Kerlin (Escort).

CLASS III: Hugh Hunter/Hugh McClean (Escort).

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP: David Throne/Declan McCay (Escort).