Cronin dominates afternoon for Banna glory
Banna Mini-stages Rally
Organiser: Kerry Motor Club When: November 13 Where: Ardfert County Kerry Championship: Top Part West Coast Rally Championship Stages: 6 Starters: 74
West Cork’s Daniel Cronin, co-driven by Shane Buckley, reinforced his recent Fastnet Stages victory with a win in Kerry, two years after claiming success on the event.
The Banna Rally is run over the flat coastal area to the North of Tralee, and the stages, Ardagh and Aghamore – each run three times – are fast and open.
Stephen Mccann’s Ford Fiesta R5 was fastest out of the blocks to lead Jack Newman (Ford Escort Mk2) by 0.9s. Cronin was a further two seconds back in the tricky wet conditions.
The nature of the stages does tend to make the top cars and drivers very closely matched. Cronin had a good run through the second stage, which edged him into the lead, with Newman second while Mccann slipped to third.
On stage four, the leading trio continued to exchange times, with Newman fastest by just a fraction from Cronin, with third placed Mccann a further nine seconds back. Cronin led by three seconds as the drivers prepared for the final loop.
Cronin had a great run through stage five, six seconds up on Newman and 11s faster than third-placed Mccann that made a final stage showdown unlikely.
So it transpired. Cronin was fastest again to finish nine seconds ahead of Newman.
Shane Maguire finished 11th in his Mitsubishi Lancer and won Group N, which should be enough to clinch the Top Part West Coast Championship again for the Monaghan man.
Cronin has hit good form after winning the Fastnet Stages