Cronin is fast as Pringle and Cumiskey are caught out in Bantry
Organiser: Skibbereen and District Car Club When: October 30 Where: Bantry, West Cork Championship: Plasticbag.ie Southern 4 Rally Championship Stages: 6 Starters 79.
Daniel Cronin, co-driven by Shane Buckley in his Mitsubishi Lancer E9, won his local Fastnet Rally in some style.
Dundalk’s Brendan Cumiskey, driving his Ford Fiesta R5, made a valiant effort to catch the flying Cronin towards the end, but had to settle for second. Cumiskey was co-driven by Ronan O’kane.
Cronin topped the early running ahead of Jonathan Pringle, as the early going proved slippery. But with the roads drying, Pringle fitted harder compound tyres to his Ford Escort Mk2 at the Bantry service and took fastest time through stage three.
However, it all went wrong for the Cavan man Pringle in the next test, where he reckoned he would have to push really hard to make an impression on Cronin. Sadly the Pringle Escort caught gravel on a fast right-hander, and was sucked into a ditch and rolled. This was a sad end to the rally for Pringle, who has chalked up some great results this season.
Cumiskey then moved into second and he set fastest times through stages four and five. He had moved to within 12s of Cronin starting the final stage. Cumiskey gave his R5 his best, but his massive charge came to naught when he spun the car and stalled the engine, losing further time trying to get his Fiesta out of a ditch.
This left Cronin to win by 37s, with George Condell in third a further 20s back. Pauric Duffy did hold third going into the final stage but, like Cumiskey, he lost valuable seconds and had to settle for fourth.