Keith Cronin crash spells end of dream
In end Keith Cronin could never recover from his Wales Rally GB accident which has cost him his dream drive in next year's World championship.
He and co-driver Marshall Clarke made it to the finish yesterday but they could only offer congratulations to Sebastien Chardonnet who beat them to the Citroen Top Driver award and the prize of six rounds in the 2014 WRC2 series in a factory-funded R5 Citroen.
It all went wrong for the three-times British champion from Cork on Friday morning when his DS3 Citroen ploughed into a tree after initially leading the rally.
Carryduff-based supported team DGM rapidly re-built the car, making the Friday night deadline by just 30 seconds. But Chardonnet just had to keep going – and he did, finishing in 21st place overall to secure the career-changing prize.
Up at the front of the rally new World champion Sebastien Ogier dominated from start to finish, winning by 27 seconds from his Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala with Ford's Thierry Neuville a further minute back in third place.
Best of the Irish drivers was Robert Barrable in 16th in his R5 Ford Fiesta while Phillip Morrow overcame a host of problems including a broken gearbox to finish 19th in his Mitsubishi.