1967 Safari Win for “Team Forktune”

Photo: Bryce Sands
Dungannon based "Team Forktune" took the Team Award on the Erne Safari.

This report is reprinted from a newspaper clipping kindly provided by Jim Taggart.

Dungannon Motor Club Members score in 1967 Erne Safari.

Enniskillen Motor Club, on Friday night and Saturday morning last, held their Championship Rally, namely “The Erne Safari”.  This event attracted most of the local Dungannon rally competitors, either competing or manning as many as seven route checks and one time control around the popular rally vicinity of Knockmanny mountain near Augher.

Leaving Enniskillen at 10:01, the competitors making up Classes One, Two and Three started on their way to Control 1 near Trillick, and then through the narrow twisty roads around Fivemiletown to Control 2 at Knockmanny, where many Dungannon motoring enthusiasts turned out to wave on the local lads.

Control 3, North of Dromore, proved to be “just on” and only the fastest crews managed to keep free from penalty.  A time allowance of 1 hour was allowed between all controls except into Control 4, sited East of Pettigo, this being a 30m “quickie”.  Here three crews, including Ronnie White and Beatty Crawford managed to make this one on time, everybody else (including the eventual winner Robert McBurney) dropped at least two minutes.

Pettigo was where the competitors managed to get their first break, one hour being allowed to fill up with petrol and traverse the eight miles to Control 5 in County Donegal.  Here the pace began to hot up and only two crews, Mervyn Johnston / Mike Hart and Ronnie White / Beatty Crawford, managed to reach Control 6 on time.  Meanwhile in Class Three, run at a lower average speed, local Dungannon competitors Harold Reid / Robert Harkness and Wesley Abraham / Bryce Sands had incurred no penalty points so far.

The route into Control 7, an unmarked T-junction on a rough mountain section North of Beleek, had most crews up a very rough mountain track, and when they eventually reached Control 7, undoubtedly incurred total lateness in excess of the maximum, i.e. 30 minutes.  These included Ronnie White / Beatty Crawford, who were in the lead up until this point, and Norman Reid / Gordon Taggart who had been in fifth place. 

The route to Control 8 led back to the border when crews tackled 5 special stages before reaching Killadeas House Hotel for a well deserved breakfast.

When the results were announced the Dungannon boys had certainly won their share of the trophies.  Ronnie White / Beatty Crawford placed fourth in Class 1, Beatty substituting for Harold Hagan on this occasion due to Harold’s participation at the Ken Wharton Televised driving test in England.  Oliver Hadden, navigated by Brian Rickerby, were fifth in Class 1.

In Class 2, run at the same average speed as Class 1, Norman Reid / Gordon Taggart took third place.  In Class 3, Dungannon crews took first and second place with Harold Reid / Robert Harkness taking the win, and Wesley Abraham / Bryce Sands in second place.

Finally, the Dungannon Motor Club “Team Forktune” won the overall Team Award.  The team consisted of Norman Reid / Gordon Taggart, Sydney Meeke / John Beatty, and Milton Thom / Alistair McConnell.