BY MARTIN WALSH
ON their return to the British Rally Championship, Ballylickey’s Keith Cronin and his Killarney co-driver Mikie Galvin (VW Polo GTi R5) finished second in today’s opening round Malcolm Wilson Rally in Cumbria.
Heavy snowfalls forced the organisers to change the itinerary with three of the scheduled stages falling victim to the weather. The revised schedule meant that one stage, Greystoke, was run three times.
Cronin was less than a handful of seconds off the lead on the opening stage only to lose time on the Grizedale South stage (SS 2) when he caught up with the Ford Puma Rally1 of Greek driver Jourdan Serderidis, who spun in front of the West Cork driver and didn’t allow him to pass.
Setting out on the final pair of stages Cronin, in second place, was 28.4 seconds behind rally leader French ace Adrien Fourmaux in the M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2 but he dropped time with a power steering problem was sorted at the service park prior to the final stage.
Cronin went on to secure second - 53.5 seconds behind Fourmaux and 28.6 seconds ahead of the Ford Fiesta Rally2 of Welsh ace James Williams.
Read next week’s Southern Star for a full report of the event, Keith’s reaction and of course, a preview of the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally.