Irish drivers share lead in Mitsubishi challenge

Irish drivers, Daniel Barry and Richard Cathcart share top spot in the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge after today’s fourth round of the series that formed part of the Severn Valley National Rally in mid-Wales.

Scotland’s David Bogie took top points followed by Cathcart and last round winner, Keith Cronin.

However, Barry’s Mitsubishi stopped on the seventh and final stage.

Billy Coleman Award winner, Keith Cronin made a sensational start to the event that was also a round of the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship and included several World Rally Cars.

Cronin was second overall on the first stage - behind the Peugeot Cosworth of Andy Burton.

Cronin led his Mitsubishi rivals through the second stage - three seconds ahead of Neil McCance, six seconds clear of Cathcart and nine ahead of Bogie with Barry - twelve seconds behind the Cork ace.

On the third stage, Cronin damaged the exhaust and lost power - he also lost some 30 seconds to his rivals.

He recovered a few places to finish third behind Cathcart and Bogie, who collected top points.

Along with Barry, Jonathan Greer and Neil McCance both failed to finish.

Now, after four rounds, Barry and Cathcart share the lead on 28 points, Bogie and Nik Elsmore are next, both with 27 points while Cronin, who was out of luck on the opening two rounds, has hauled himself back into contention for one of the top prizes in British Motorsport - a fully funded drive in next season’s British Rally Championship.

Meanwhile, Andy Burton won the event - he finished 24.8 seconds ahead of the Subaru of Jon Ingram. Marcus Dodd (Hyundai WRC) was third.

Reigning Irish Forest champion, Stephen Moore (Ford Focus WRC) was eighth overall.

Severn Valley National Rally:

1. A. Burton (Peugeot Cosworth) 1h. 05m. 17.8s.

2. J. Ingram (Subaru WRC) 1h. 05m. 42.6s.

3. M. Dodd (Hyundai Accent WRC) 1h. 06m. 18.1s.

4. J. Reynolds (Subaru WRC) 1h. 06m. 34.7s.

5. R. Duckworth (Subaru WRC) 1h. 06m. 35.5s.

6. D. Bogie (Mitsubishi) 1h. 07m. 14.9s.

7. R. Cathcart (Mitsubishi) 1h. 07m. 30.9s.

8. S. Moore (Ford Focus WRC) 1h. 07m. 38.8s.

9. K. Cronin (Mitsubishi) 1h. 07m. 45.3s.

10. N. Elsmore (Mitsubishi) 1h. 08m. 10.3s.

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