Belfast Telegraph

British Rally Championship: Cronin set to take title tussle to the wire

By Sammy Hamill

Keith Cronin will head for Ulster with his British rally championship hopes still very much alive.

Victory in the Rally Isle of Man at the weekend has rekindled Cronin’s chances of retaining his BRC title and the 24-year-old from west Cork is now just six points behind Jonny Greer as the series crosses to Antrim for the Toddsleap.com Ulster Rally next month.

Despite winning the first round in Wales back in March, Cronin has struggled to adapt from his championship-winning Mitsubishi to his prize-drive Pirelli Subaru and slipped to sixth in the standings.

But he bounced back with a more Cronin-like performance in the Isle of Man, winning by more than one-and-a-half minutes from the Mitsubishi of former champion Gwyndaf Evans.

Damage to the rear tracking of the JRM Mitsubishi Evo X followed by an off cost Evans close to two minutes on the sixth stage and he was never able to close the gap to Cronin.

But Cronin (above) explained that detailed work on the N15 Subaru’s suspension by TEG Sport and the TEIN specialists had transformed the car.

“You need confidence in the car when the conditions are so treacherous but TEIN and TEG Sport have worked wonders and we were able to push when we needed to,” he said.

Young Carryduff driver Greer finished in a solid fourth in his DGM Mitsubishi to remain top of the table although Evans is now just two points behind with Cronin right back in the picture, too.

There was more success for the Irish contingent with Dubliner Robert Barrable finishing 10th and consolidating his lead in the UK Citroen Racing Trophy series after a long duel with Omagh’s Mark Donnelly who was 12th.

However there was disappointment for Trillick’s Alastair Fisher who had been challenging Cronin and Evans at the front until he crashed his Mitsubishi on stage six.

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