Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin have extended their league in the British Rally Championship
Three members of Killarney and District Motor Club are in the running for the main awards in this year’s British Rally Championship.
Following Saturday’s Grampian Rally in Scotland, Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin’s further extended their lead in the series. Their hard-fought win means they have a 12-point advantage over their nearest rivals, Osian Pryce and Noel O’Sullivan.
Cronin, Galvin and O’Sullivan are all members of Killarney and District Motor Club, while the latter also holds duel membership with Kerry Motor Club. The Grampian marks Cronin’s second BRC victory of the season, having also won the Jim Clark Rally on the series’ previous visit to Scotland in May.
With Pryce also taking two wins so far, Cronin recognised the importance of today’s result, ahead of the next two rounds taking place on Pryce’s home territory:
“It’s great to get the win, as I said at the start of the rally, we really did need it, especially when we’re going into Wales next, it’ll be tough to beat Osian in Wales.
"We had a good start and we were able to manage it from there. It’s our first win on gravel in a while, so that was really good. We are leading the championship, but we need the wins in order to win the championship, it’s all to play for,” said Cronin.
Dropped scores will play a part in the latter end of the year and round five of the 2022 British Rally Championship is the Aberystwyth-based Get Connected Rali Ceredigion (3/4 September) – an event that Pryce won when it was first run in 2019.
“We achieved the best result we could have, so I cannot be disappointed – and congratulations to Keith [Cronin] and Mikie [Galvin] on their win,” said Pryce after the Grampian Rally.
“A big thanks to the Melvyn Evans Motorsport team for doing a great job, because the car was spot on again – and to Noel [O’Sullivan] as he did an excellent job and it’s always a pleasure to have him next to me in the co-driver’s seat.”
Cork Forestry Rally
Mossie Costello narrowly missed out on being crowned Irish Junior 1000 champion at Sunday’s Cork Forestry Rally – the championship's final round. The Tarbert teenager entered the event with a mathematical chance of claiming the championship.
However a clutch problem hindered progress during the morning loop of stages and while he set good times in the afternoon, he finished third. He was actually leading the category for a while but an overshoot cost valuable time that was to have repercussions on the championship. His third-place finish was not enough to deprive Waterford’s Jack Brennan from winning the championship.
“It was a day Mossie won’t forget for a while,” said his father Jason.
“A simple overshot on stage three cost him the lead but he didn’t give up he put in another fastest time on stage four, but it still wasn’t enough. But to end up third overall and second in the forestry championship – we are very proud of him.”
Millstreet’s Liam Moynihan, another Killarney and District Motor Club member, was the best of the local co-drivers on Sunday’s Cork Forestry Rally. He guided Cathan McCourt to fourth overall in a Hyundai i20 RC2.
The rally was notable for a late and unexpected entry from Craig Breen. The World Rally Championship star drove his father Ray’s Ford Focus World Rally Car to a 22-second victory over Irish Forestry Championship frontrunner Patrick O’Brien.
Breen employed friend and neighbour John Bowden as co-driver for the Cork outing, but he and his Killarney co-driver Paul Nagle resume their World Rally Championship campaign with this week’s Ypres Rally in Belgium.
Denny Greaney guided PJ’Connor to second in Class 4 in their Mitsubishi Lancer E9.
Ballyvourney’s Gerard Lucey and his Gneeveguilla co-driver Donagh Crowley were also second in their class in another Lancer – both crews were complaining of the dust in the very dry conditions.
Mike O'Donoghue and Dan Murphy, the only all-Kerry crew in the event, reported a trouble-free run on their way to second in their class in their unusual Subaru Impreza estate.
Driver Mike O’Connor Jr had a better second half of the rally after discovering new and better rear suspension settings in his Opel Manta. He and co-driver Barry Attridge eventually finished fourth in their class.
Rathmore school teacher Declan Casey was second in that class alongside Owen McMackin from Tyrone in a Ford Escort Mk2.