CHAMPION CRONIN HEADS FOR CARLISLE
The entry list for the Pirelli International Rally, the opening round of the MSA Prestone British Rally Championship, has received a major boost with the announcement that four times British Rally Champion, Keith Cronin, will be competing in the Carlisle based rally driving a Hyundai Customer Racing Team i20 R5-N, yet a different make for the man from Ballylickey, County Cork, who has used a different make car for each of his title successes, using variously a Mitsubishi Evo ( 2009 ), Subaru ( 2010 ), Citroen DS3 ( 2012 ) and M-Sport Ford Fiesta ( 2017 ).
Cronin is no stranger to the Pirelli International Rally or the Kielder Forest stages, having won the event twice previously, in 20009 and 2012, on his way to taking the British title. He suffered mixed fortunes last year, making a poor start to the season but came back strongly, especially when the events were on his favoured tarmac surface, winning the 2017 title in thrilling fashion when he was quickest on the final stage of the final event to win that rally and take the title by a single point.
Co-Driver for Cronin will be his regular pace note reader Mikie Galvin, the pair having enjoyed a successful 2017 together and, indeed, the year previously when they won the Irish Tarmac Championship, again after a nail-biting finish on the final event when a puncture on one of the final stages put their title hopes in jeopardy.
One final thought, Keith is the eldest of 10 children, if the whole family turns up in Carlisle the Border city is going to be mighty crowded!