BALLYLICKEY’S Keith Cronin continues his quest to secure a fifth British Rally Championship title, to match the long-standing record held by Jimmy McRae, when he races in Rali Bae Ceredigion in Wales this weekend.
The West Cork driver is seeded at No. 2 in his Volkswagen Polo GTi, with his Killarney co-driver Mikie Galvin alongside him.
With two wins so far this year, they lead the British Rally Championship standings by 18 points from another VW Polo crew, Osian Pryce and Noel O’Sullivan.
The BRC reconvenes in Wales this weekend for round five of the series, which will be fought out on Saturday evening and throughout Sunday over 12 closed road tarmac stages around the event’s Aberystwyth base.
From his West Cork base, Cronin expressed an eagerness to sample the extended route of Rali Bae Ceredigion.
‘I'm looking forward to getting back onto a longer event, and this rally has more mileage than some of the other BRC rounds’ Cronin said.
‘There's more room for manoeuvre, if you've a half-spin or some other minor delay it doesn't necessarily mean that any chance of a result is gone out the window, you might have a chance to recover the time.
‘It's also on tarmac, which I would traditionally have been stronger on than gravel, although the difference has levelled off a bit in recent years because we haven't done that much tarmac rallying.’
Cronin also recognised the difficulty in containing Pryce in Wales, and is tempering his expectations as a result.
‘My hope would be to finish ahead of Osian, but that may be too big an ask on his home turf,’ he noted.
‘I know that the rally is not exactly on his doorstep, but you could say it's in the next parish. It does make a difference, a tenth here, a tenth there, it all adds up. I'll be satisfied if I can minimise the amount of points he pulls back in the standings.’