Wednesday 22 November 2017

Cronin and Galvin claim British rally crown

Keith Cronin of Ireland and Mike Galvin of Ireland in action. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Keith Cronin of Ireland and Mike Galvin of Ireland in action. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Paul Phelan

Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin had a dream weekend on the Isle of Man, winning the two final rounds of the Prestone British Rally Championship to give Ballylickey driver Cronin his fourth British title.

The Irish pair went to the Manx event with only an outside chance of winning the series following a number of problems in the early part of the season, which left them to mount a late challenge.

Swede Fredrik Ahlin and Torstein Eriksen from Norway seemed to have the prize in the bag, needing only a second and a third place on the island to keep clear of their rivals.

However, transmission problems on their Skoda Fabia meant that they could manage only third place on the first of the two separate rallies, while Cronin's Ford Fiesta was the clear winner ahead of Britain's Matt Edwards in another Fiesta.

With everything to play for, the Munster pair needed to repeat their victory in the second event, with Ahlin finishing below second place.

Over the dramatic closing stages, the Irishmen finally went ahead and, in an amazing finish, they took victory by a mere one tenth of a second from Edwards, with the disappointed Ahlin losing out by having to settle for third.

Elsewhere, at Mondello Park Meath driver Cian Carey, the current Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year, added his name to the illustrious list of winners of the historic Leinster Trophy.

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