Friday, 28 September 2012

CRONIN ON TRACK AS THE CITROËN RACING TROPHY UK HEADS FOR THE TRACKROD!

With three overall rally victories this year, two time British Rally Champion Keith Cronin heads into the final International Rally Yorkshire with the Citroën Racing Trophy UK lead. Cronin is on 78 points ahead of Welsh drivers Tom Cave on 69 points and Osian Pryce on 66. Northern Ireland drivers Desi Henry and Johnny Greer are joint fourth with 61 points apiece, with James Grint fifth on 52 and Jarkko Nikara sixth on 34. With a staggering 64,500€ prize fund on offer this season including a Junior prize worth 10,000€ for the first driver under 23 still up for grabs, it’s an important finale on the Trackrod Rally for the DS3 R3 mounted crews.

For Keith Cronin the prospect of a third British Rally Championship title means that he will have to drive an intelligent rally this weekend. The Cork driver’s performances have netted him 21,500€ in prize money to date from the Citroën Racing Trophy. “I think we need at least 5th or higher this weekend, to secure the BRC title. It’s been a good season so far for us and the DS3, for a front wheel drive car, is a very quick machine. The Citroën Racing Trophy prize money has really helped to lighten the load as we don’t have a lot of finance, and with the support and media back up it’s been a great series to compete in. It’ll be a tough weekend, as we cannot afford to let our concentration slip especially as the Citroën Racing Trophy UK title is not assured yet.”

This weekend’s International Rally Yorkshire, sees seven DS3 R3 models line up for the British Rally Championship finale.The Junior prize is a 10,000€ contribution to compete in the Rally Du Var in France, in November, and there is a big fight on for this prize. Tom Cave still has an outside chance of the overall BRC title also. “I think Rally Yorkshire will be one of the hardest events of my career. There is so much at stake that getting the right balance on the event will be crucial. The obvious strategy might be to push at maximum attack from the off but this could quite easily backfire, as if I fail to finish and the others do well, I could go from second to fourth in the championship, but if I settle in and go for a reasonable result, particularly ahead of Osian Pryce and Jonny Greer, then that could help
cement second in the championship, which wouldn't be a bad result for my first season contesting the full BRC. If I come home as the first driver under 23, I win a significant credit for parts against an entry in the Rallye du Var in France.”

Osian Pryce will be another one to beat this weekend, the young Welsh driver finished a fine third on the Ulster International Rally. “We really have to go for it this weekend, and try to finish in front of Keith and Tom if we can. I will have to give it 120%, as the Trophy win itself is still attainable, and of course there is the superb Junior prize. We have done a little bit of testing, a few miles in the dark, and about 30 miles at a charity rally day, so hopefully we will be on good form for the weekend.”

Desi Henry tested his DS3 successfully on last weekend’s Bushwhacker Rally in Northern Ireland, as he gets the feel of the forests again, whilst Jonny Greer is very much looking forward to the Trackrod. “We have a shakedown planned for Thursday to get the feel of the DS3 on gravel again. The Pirelli Rally was our last outing on that surface with the car. There are some very fast corners on this event, so it’s important to get the car set up well for the high speed stuff. Another thing to watch out for is the weather. If the heavy rain persists all week, it will make the stages very slippery. For us there’s no real pressure, just go out and have a good go, as anything can happen on this rally.” James Grint in his AVS
Motorsport DS3 will be another one to watch out for, as James has impressed this season with his transition to the 210 horse power DS3.

Citroën UK holds a commanding lead in the BRC manufacturer’s series going into this final round, with Keith Cronin favourite to take the overall British Rally Championship and the Citroën Racing Trophy UK series. It’s been a memorable season to date for the DS3 crews. The event begins with a ceremonial start on the seafront in Scarborough on Friday with one stage, then five long stages on Saturday using the Dalby forest complex, famous for its long straights and square corners.