Irish libre racing 1964

Most motor racing in Ireland was north of the border and specifically in County Down on the very eastern edge of Ulster with five races conducted by the 500 Motor Racing Club of Ireland at Kirkistown and three under the auspices of the Ulster Automobile Club on the RAF base at Bishops Court.

The main competition at Kirkistown was expected to be between Malcolm Templeton with a Ford twin cam in the back of his ex-Formula Junior Lotus 22 and the much more powerful Cooper T53-Climax of John Pringle. Pringle, who had increased his engine capacity to 2.7-litres for 1964 and fitted a 5-speed gearbox to the Cooper, and led nine out of ten laps of the opening Kirkistown race in April but missed a gear change on the final lap and Templeton slipped past to win. At the second Kirkistown, Tommy Reid took a surprise win in Mike Mooney's Irish Racing Cars 1.5-litre Lotus 22 but his car broke a crankshaft on the first lap of the 1 August race, leaving Templeton to win from Pringle.

Reid won again three weeks later which left the Kirkistown Formule Libre finely balanced going into the last race at the end of September. Pringle, Reid and Templeton were separated by just three points with Charles Eyre-Maunsell's impressive new sports Crosslé 5S also in contention if the others broke. It should have been a thrilling end to the Kirkistown season but Pringle suffered mechanical problems during practice and retired and he was soon followed to the paddock by Reid who had a slipping clutch. Templeton had started badly but sliced through the field and overtook Brian Nelson's 2.5-litre Crosslé 5S-Daimler sports car to win.

At Bishopscourt, the UAC awarded the Ulster Trophy for the winner of their Formule Libre championship and that silverware looked to be going to Templeton after he won the first two races. Fate intervened at the final race where Templeton was unable to start and Reid cruised to maximum points and the title. Eyre-Maunsell kept ahead of Pringle at that race to edge him out of third place in the championship.

Kirkistown Formule Libre races

04 Apr 1964 > Kirkistown

27 Jun 1964 > Kirkistown

01 Aug 1964 > Kirkistown

22 Aug 1964 > Bobbie Baird Trophy libre race at Kirkistown

26 Sep 1964 > Kirkistown

1964 Kirkistown Formule Libre Championship table

1Malcolm Templeton1.6-litre Lotus 22 - Ford twin cam30 pts3 wins
2Charles Eyre-Maunsell1.6-litre CrosslĂ© 5S - Ford twin cam27 pts 
3John Pringle2.7-litre Cooper T53 - Climax26 pts 
4Tommy Reid1.6-litre Lotus 22 - Ford twin cam25 pts2 wins

Bishops Court Formule Libre races

09 May 1964 > Bishopscourt

06 Jun 1964 > Bishopscourt

19 Sep 1964 > Bishopscourt

1964 Ulster Trophy (Formule Libre Championship) table

1Tommy Reid1.6-litre Lotus 22 - Ford twin cam26 pts1 win
2Malcolm Templeton1.6-litre Lotus 22 - Ford twin cam20 pts2 wins
3Charles Eyre-Maunsell1.6-litre CrosslĂ© 5S - Ford twin cam  
4John Pringle2.7-litre Cooper T53 - Climax