DANIEL Cronin, currently fourth overall in the Acesigns Irish Tarmac Rally Championship (ITRC), has opted not to compete in this weekend’s Circuit of Ireland Rally, round three of the seven round series.
The decision was based on management of the VW Polo GTi R5 he shares with his brother Keith, who will use it in his quest to win a record-equalling fifth British Rally Championship (BRC) title.
Between rounds of the ITRC and the BRC, there is an event each week, from this week’s Circuit to next week’s Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring and Clacton (the first round of the BRC), and the Rally of the Lakes, round four of the ITRC on the May bank-holiday weekend.
‘Mileage on the engine is getting high as it is and we decided to pull the plug on the Circuit of Ireland,’ Daniel told The Southern Star.
Prior to the recent Birr Rally, Donegal’s Declan Boyle, who was set to debut his VW Polo GTi R5 at the event, blew the engine in testing. It was suggested much was due to mileage.
‘We checked our car through the ECU and we felt that having three major rallies in a row could be pushing it,’ Daniel explained.
‘As well as that, trying to have the engine re-built between those events may not have been possible and we didn’t want to risk that situation either.’
While Daniel will now focus his attention on the Rally of the Lakes, he reckons he will also skip the three-day Donegal International Rally in mid-June.
‘I will do the Cork ‘20’ and the Ulster,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Monaghan’s Josh Moffett (Hyundai i20 R5) bids to retain his winning sequence in the ITRC on the weekend’s Circuit of Ireland Rally, which is based near Ballymena. Fermanagh’s Alastair Fisher (VW Polo GTi R5), Welsh ace Meirion Evans, also in a Melvyn Evans Motorsport run VW Polo GTi R5, Derry’s Callum Devine and Tyrone’s Cathan McCourt, both in Ford Fiesta Rally 2 cars, and Belfast’s Jonny Greer (Citroen C3) are the main contenders for the two-day event that features six stages each day.
Enniskeane co-driver Sean Hayde will compete in the Historic category of the event with Welsh driver Berian Richards (Ford Escort RS1800) and Barryroe’s Dylan Doolan competes with Ballymena’s Chris McGurk (Ford Fiesta R5).