JUST a year ago, Keith Cronin ended a 35 year drought when he became the second Irish driver to win the British Rally Championship following in the tracks of Billy Coleman, who won the series back in 1974.
Remarkably, it has taken only 12 months for the Ballylickey ace to double his tally.
Cronin (24) is one of the new breed of Irish drivers aiming to get to the top level in their chosen sport. Others like Craig Breen, Alastair Fisher, Marty McCormack and Daniel McKenna are emerging stars whilst not forgetting current Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion, Kris Meeke and former production World champion, Niall McShea. Meanwhile, England, Scotland and Wales, seem bereft of new talent with Adam Gould the main support to the more experienced Alastair McRae and Guy Wilks.
Having taken back-to-back BRC titles, Cronin is now virtually at a crossroads as he contemplates his next move.
Indeed, the next few months will determine the path of his journey in a sport where finance does not always guarantee success but is still the most essential commodity, irrespective of talent.
There is little time to bask in glory, Rally Scotland (October 15/17) the penultimate round of the IRC will be Cronin’s next outing, for the second time in over two months, he will drive the Chris Mellors prepared Proton Satria S2000.
Cronin also hinted that an offer to drive the JRM Mitsubishi Evo X in next year’s BRC or even selected rounds of the World Rally Championship could be a runner. Meanwhile, because of his geographical location, he is unlikely to figure in the shortlist of drivers in contention to fill Kris Meeke’s seat at Peugeot as the Tyrone ace is expected to move to the WRC with the Prodrive run Mini Countryman WRC.
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