This is the tale of two retired motor sport enthusiasts, both with time on their hands and living in the same village, who hit on the idea of bringing old friends and their cars together for their own entertainment and the benefit of worthwhile charities in their community.
Déjà vu Motorsport grew from Dr. Beatty Crawford’s idea to organise the Paddy Hopkirk Gala in 2014. This highly successful event celebrated the 50th anniversary of the great Irish driver’s Monte Carlo Rally win and raised over £50,000 for the Integrated Education Fund for Northern Ireland.
Beatty and Plum Tyndall, who was also on the organising committee, have continued with the theme and that’s how Déjà vu Motorsport came into being.
Dr. Beatty Crawford
Beatty got the rallying bug as a teenager along with his brother Esler and by the early 1960s he was sitting beside serious talent like the Boyd brothers. He won the ’64 Novice Award on the Circuit of Ireland with Derek and led the event in ‘65 with Adrian until their works Humber Super Snipe got wedged on a narrow road.
They came close to winning the big Easter prize twice in the late ‘60s but 1971 was the pairs year when they won the Circuit and finished runners-up in the British Rally Championship in their Escort Twin Cam. Beatty accompanied Adrian in 1972 and ‘73 in an ex-works Escort BDA, winning the Galway and Texaco rallies, and competing outside Ireland on the Monte Carlo, Austrian Alpine, Swedish, Welsh and RAC rallies.
Beatty’s emigration to the USA in 1973 interrupted his rallying until 1990 when a run with Adrian on the Pirelli Classic Marathon persuaded him to buy his own Mini Cooper S. In 1991 with Ronnie McCartney behind the wheel they won the endurance event beating names like Timo Makinen, Stirling Moss, Roger Clark and Le Mans winner Gijs Van Lennep.
Beatty’s mission was now to persuade as many rallying legends as he could to conduct him on historic events. Stig Blomqvist sat in his Mini in 1991 on the Britannia Rally but the Porsche 911 was the car to have and over the next seven years Beatty won the RAC Historic Rally twice with Jimmy McRae; the Ypres 24 Historic twice with Bjorn Waldegard and Jimmy; the Rally of the Lakes in Killarney twice with Billy Coleman and Bjorn and also with Bjorn they finished second in the Boucles de Spa and 1000 Lakes Historic in Finland.
Add to Beatty’s amazing drivers list, Rauno Aaltonen, Walter Rorhl, Sandro Munari and Louise Aitken-Walker, and you can count five world rally champions amongst his captives.
During Beatty’s years in America he formed www.radiologyintl.com to organise medical conferences across the globe and Déjà vu Motorsport benefits from those 40 years of experience in the business.
Alan (Plum) Tyndall
The ‘Plum’ tag came from a childhood pal and has remained with him ever since, helped no doubt by Alan’s ‘Plumline’ articles in many publications. A petrolhead almost since birth
The former Irish Production Saloon Car Champion, journalist and grand prix commentator has also written the definitive history of Crosslé Cars (Hidden Glory); his own auto-biography (Keep the Revs Up), and co-operated with Esler Crawford on two rally books – Mad for Road and Heroes of the Hills.
But it is for his television work that this former press officer for the Sports Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council is best known. After free-lancing for many broadcasting companies including BBC, RTE, UTV, Europa TV and Eurosport, he formed Tyndall PR in 1984 and then branched out into independent television production at the end of the ‘80s
RPM became his flagship show in 1991 and the popular motorsport programme ran for twenty-three years on UTV and on RTE, TV2, TG4 and many satellite channels during its long run.
The programme spawned a comprehensive DVD archive covering the prominent Irish drivers and events from the mid ‘80s to 2014 which are available on www.rpm-motorsport.com
Plum and Beatty first teamed up in 2014 on the Paddy Hopkirk Gala even and formed Déja vu Motorsport in 2016.