BALLYLICKEY’s Keith Cronin will be hoping for a slice of good fortune on his weekend’s Scottish Rally, round three of the Prestone British Rally Championship.
Following two disappointing outings in the M-sport prepared Tria/Cremin Coaches/Michael O’Brien Plant Hire-liveried Ford Fiesta R5m he finds himself 43 points adrift of series leader Swedish ace Fredrik Ahlin.
Cronin retired from third place when he slid of the road on the opening stage of day two of the Pirelli Rally.
‘I’m going with an open mind,’ he said, ‘the championship is probably out of reach now so it’s trying to do our best on each event. If anything, it might take a bit of pressure off.
‘Speed isn’t the issue really, the first round we had the punctures and then it was the power steering on the last round and I was probably trying too hard to claw things back and went off. I’m sure if we got a bit of luck we will be right up there.
‘The others have to have some bad luck too, that is the way championships go. Last year we were nearly out of it (the Irish Tarmac Championship) after four rounds but it came right in the end.’
Ahlin is the top seed with Scottish ace David Bogie (Skoda Fabia R5), Welsh aces Osian Pryce (Ford Fiesta R5) and Tom Cave (Hyundai i20 R5) next off the line and ahead of Cronin and his Killarney co-driver Mikie Galvin, who are seeded at number 5 in their Fiesta R5.
Winners of last week’s Donegal Forest Rally, Marty McCormack/David Moynihan (Skoda Fabia R5) occupy the number six berth. Another Derry/Cork duo - Desi Henry from Portglenone and Millstreet’s Liam Moynihan (Skoda Fabia R5) are seeded at eight.
The rally will begin from Dumfries with two stages on Friday evening. There are eight more stages on Saturday including classics like Twiglees and Castle O’er before the finish in Lockerbie. Meanwhile, Rally Portugal, round six of the World Rally Championship also takes place this weekend.