Cronin dom­i­nates af­ter­noon for Banna glory

Banna Mini-stages Rally

Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - By Brian Pat­ter­son

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

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