BY MARTIN WALSH
FOUR-TIME British Rally champion Keith Cronin is plotting a surprise return to rallying.
The Ballylickey ace has submitted an entry for the Nicky Grist Rally, the second round of the British Rally Championship (BRC) on July 10th, just over a week before his 35th birthday.
He hasn’t competed since the Ypres Rally in Belgium in mid-June 2018, a few weeks after he won the Circuit of Munster in a Hyundai i20 R5.
Typically pragmatic, Cronin said, ‘I have a lot of work to do yet in terms of getting this (British Championship) off the ground. There have been many changes since my last event, especially the advances in technology within the R5s. It will take time to get to the pace of the regulars, especially as I haven’t been on a gravel event for over three years.
‘Then, there’s also the Covid-19 situation. I still have to decide what type of car to drive. Yes, it will be nice to return, but there’s still quite an amount of work required to bring it all to fruition.’
Killarney’s Mikie Galvin will co-drive for Cronin.
In terms of commerce, Cronin has been extremely busy and has immersed himself in expanding the family business with outlets in Leap and Union Hall.
Cronin won his first BRC crown in 2009 onboard a Mitsubishi and followed with further title victories in 2010 (Subaru), 2012 (Citroen) and 2017 (Ford Fiesta). He shares four BRC titles with the great Roger Clark (1965, 1972, 1973 and 1975) and is just one shy of all-time BRC record holder Scottish ace Jimmy McCrae (1981, 1982, 1984, 1987 and 1988).
The BRC began on Monday last where Monaghan’s Sam Moffett took a Ford Fiesta R5 Mk. II to a final stage win on the Neil Howard Memorial Rally at Oulton Park.