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Treble bid as Keith Cronin gears up for Trackrod Rally
10:00am Wednesday 19th September 2012 in Sport
KEITH CRONIN comes to Ryedale for the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire on September 28 and 29 bidding to become only the fourth driver in history to win the British Rally Championship three times.
The 26-year-old from County Cork in Ireland needs just an eighth-place finish to clinch the title he previously won in 2009 and 2010 to join fivetime champion Jimmy McRae, Roger Clark (four) and Mark Higgins (three) as the most successful men in the competition’s 54-year history.
Cronin, who now drives a Citroen DS3 R3, sealed both of his previous British crowns at the Trackrod Motor Club’s premier event. He won the rally in 2009 before a third place the following year was enough to see him take home a second successive title.
The Irish star is tied at the top of the table with Elfyn Evans on 78 points, with Tom Cave four behind in third, but the championship’s rules state each driver can drop his worst score of the series, giving Cronin the upper hand.
He and co-driver Marshall Clarke have won the last three rounds of the championship – the Pirelli, Jim Clark and Todds Leap Ulster International rallies – and their title chances will be boosted by the likely absence of Fiesta R2 pilot Evans from the Trackrod event, as the Welshman looks set to concentrate on defending his lead in World Rally Championship Academy in France the following week.
Cronin’s 1598cc DS3 is seeded number one and will lead the entourage away off the start ramp on West Pier, Scarborough , at 6pm on Friday, with a 15-mile plus night stage in Dalby Forest getting the action underway.
The rally continues throughout Saturday with more accessible action in Dalby (Housedale and the Woodyard – both approached the same way) and also Cropton Forest (via Wrelton on the A170).
Competitors from all sections of the event are due back over the finish ramp on West Pier throughout the afternoon, with the British Championship cars arriving from 4.55pm.