Kirkistown Race Circuit Northern Ireland


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Two photographs from the Simon Thomas Collection (with permission), circa 1962.

Information collated by Richard Young.

Bob Duncan (Jaguar D-Type) Probably the most significant individual car ever to race at Kirkistown – certainly one of them (see below), Bertie McElhinnery (Lotus 7), Bill Patterson – the ‘other one’ , not ‘our’ Bill – (Austin Healey 100S), Stanley Porter (Lotus 7), Brian Nelson (Turner), Malcolm Templeton (Lotus Elite), John L’Amie (Turner), A Mr Hanna -no first name comes to mind- (Austin Healey Sprite), Stanley McCormick (Lotus Elite). Note: The Bob Duncan D-Type, which had been converted into a sort of XKSS by a previous owner, was built in 1954 (XKD 517 in Jaguar partlance) and registered TKF 9 to Gillie Tyrer, noted club racer in the day. He didn’t keep it for very long before passing it on through a couple of other ‘Clubbie’ types until it reached the Murkett cousins who employed others to drive their cars. They conducted some auditions to find the right man, candidates including Mike Hawthorn, who was deemed too expensive. Eventually they settled on Henry Taylor who enjoyed considerable success with the car before moving on to drive for Cooper in F2 and F1, and then UDT Laystall/BRP in Coopers and then Lotuses. Eventually he became Ford comps manager, but that’s another story. Guest drivers during that period included Archie Scott Brown, who only had one arm, but also drove in F1, and Brian Naylor, who also dabbled in F1 but at least had a full set of arms. The D-Type, meanwhile headed to Scotland where it was painted white and run by Border Reivers, driven at first by Jock Somervail and then by a promising youngster called Jim Clark, who achieved 12 wins in 20 races with it. The car also had a brush with royalty when it was driven at a Charterhall test session by the Duke of Kent, and then went into movies, playing a role in ‘The Green Helmet’, a flames, anguish and death film about the Mille Miglia etc… Then Bob Duncan bought it and raced it here for a few years before it disappeared from view, eventually being found in a lock-up near Craigantlet. It also had a spell in the Totnes Motor Museum and latterly was raced in historics by Willie Tuckett. There have been a few other owners since, and it is now in ‘proper’ D-Type mode with drivers headrest restored and that silly luggage rack removed. As a ‘full history, genuine’ D-Type it’s now worth somewhere in the region of £12m – a far cry from the £350 being asked for it during the late 60s…. So,,,,,Two World Champions – Hawthorn and Clark – Five F1 drivers - Hawthorn, Clark, Scott-Brown, Taylor & Naylor – one minor princeling and whoever drove it in the movie which I haven’t seen ! Not a bad record

Front row: Pole - John Crossle (Crossle 4F), Unknown, but possibly Jon Derisely (Lotus 7), Alan Wershat (Lolita) – actually Graham Broadley’s first Lola, Second row: Jackie Davidson (Crossle 4F), Graham Brown (HGB), Third Row: Jock Eassie (ESR), Alec Jameson (JP Ford), Jim Sergeant (Crossle), Fourth Row: Ross Raymond (Crossle), Anonymous but possibly D.McQuitty in a Tommy Graham Special, And….I can’t identify any of the others apart from No 31 which is the original Crossle driven by Gordon Drew. There may be somebody out there who can fill it out a bit more….