KEITH Cronin began his bid to win the British Rally Championship for a record-equalling fifth time with a second place finish in last weekend’s Corbeau Seats Tendring and Clacton Rally in Essex.
On board the Hankook-backed VW Polo GTi R5, Cronin and his Killarney co-driver Mike Galvin finished 5.4 seconds behind the similar car of the Welsh/Killarney duo of Osian Pryce/Noel O’Sullivan.
Cronin led the 14-stage 55-mile tarmac event for the majority of the event, setting fastest times on six stages. However, Pryce/O’Sullivan moved ahead on SS 12 and went on to claim the spoils. Reigning Junior BRC champion Ruairi Bell (Skoda Fabia R5) was second to Cronin until he crashed and damaged the radiator on SS 7 and retired.
‘We were a bit off the pace last year, but we were closer today, especially in the early part. It’s a very good result,’ Cronin said.
‘On the second and third runs Osian (Pryce) seemed to have the edge. There’s a long way to go, seven rounds in all. Other competitors will come in and they will all play a part.’
The next round of the series is the Jim Clark Rally in Scotland on May 27th and 28th.