Cronin makes a strong start in Ypres Rally bid
Keith Cronin leads the British Championship contenders after the first loop of stages on the Ypres Rally in Belgium.
The four times champion from Cork in his R5 Hyundai i20 was in fifth overall behind a quartet of Belgian drivers headed by World Championship leader Thierry Neuville, also in a Hyundai, who was narrowly ahead of the Skoda Fabia of Kris Princen.
Cronin was the top BRC finisher in Belgium last year before going on to win the title, and he made a solid start yesterday as the deceptive Flanders roads claimed their regular crop of early casualties.
Kevin Abbring, last year's winner, and former Monte Carlo Rally winner Bryan Bouffier both crashed out.
Matt Edwards, winner of the first round of the British series, was in eighth place in his Ford Fiesta, 14 seconds behind Cronin, with Marty McCormack next best in 14th in his Skoda.