Cronins in direct opposition for first time in Circuit of Munster Rally

For the Cronin brothers, Keith and Daniel, Sunday’s Rathkeale House Hotel Circuit of Munster Rally in west Limerick has different agendas.

Keith Cronin

Keith, the eldest of the Ballylickey duo, is the top seed as he debuts the Hyundai i20 R5 that he will drive in the remaining rounds of the British Rally Championship while Daniel on-board his Ford Fiesta R5 will try to continue his recent improved turn of speed.

While the nine stages around Newcastle West will differ vastly from what Keith will encounter in the Ypres Rally at the end of June, they will however provide much needed seat time in the car that only arrived in the country a few days ago. 

Cronin and the team at PCRS will leave the car in European spec for the rally. 

“I won’t be looking too much at the result, this is all about getting ready for Ypres and I want to see how the Michelin tyres work on the car,” said Keith.

It’s the first time that the brothers will be in direct opposition. Keith added, “I won’t be getting involved in any battles in that respect and I don’t think Daniel will get caught up with me either.” 

However, he admitted that Daniel’s presence will offer him a guide in terms of pace.

Meanwhile, younger sibling Daniel showed an encouraging increase of pace on the Rally of the Lakes, however, he knows there is room for improvements, he explained.

I need to cut out a few of the silly things. I stalled the car on Moll’s Gap, then I went off on the very first corner in Cod’s Head and on the Healy Pass the second time around I had a half spin, so I think if I can sort those type of things, I should be capable of setting a few good stage times.

Limericks’ Ed O’Callaghan (Escort) will be aiming to impress on home territory while fellow Limerick driver Ed Synan has hired a McKinstry S14 Subaru WRC for his home event. The entry also features Tyrone duo Vivian Hamill (Ford Escort) and Paddy McVeigh (Subaru WRC) along with Clare’s Padraig Egan (Subaru WRX), Donegal pair John O’Donnell (Ford Escort) and PJ McDermott (Subaru WRC) and Down’s Cathan McCourt (Citroen DS3 R5). Limerick’s Keith Lyons in the ex-Joe Connolly Ford Fiesta R5 will be hoping to impress. 

The first stage starts at 10.11am.

Cork racer Matt Griffin teams up British driver Duncan Cameron and Italian racer Gianluca de Lorenzi in their AF Corse run Ferrari 488GT3 for tomorrow’s fifth round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.

They will compete in the Pro-Am category of the 1,000km race where each trio will drive for two hours.

New Royal Irish Automobile Club and Motorsport Ireland chief, Leo Hassett replaces Alex Sinclair, who steps down after 29 years. 

Hassett has over two decades of commercial leadership. He said, “It’s an exciting time for myself and our members. 

The RIAC has a proud history as the delegated FIA motorsport authority in Ireland and it is on this foundation I hope to build an enlarged community, participating and benefiting from a renewed commercial focus.”

Derek Mackarel is the latest bi-monthly nominee for the Billy Coleman ‘Young Rally Driver of the Year’ award. He won the Junior category of the Munster Moonraker Rally and was second in the Limerick Forest during March/April.

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