The British Rally Championship moves to the north east this weekend for Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, where Keith Cronin, seeded at number five in the Hankook Tire Ford Fiesta Rally 2, hopes to be among the leading challengers on an event he previously won in 2009. It will be the first two day round of the BRC season, as the action gets under way on Friday evening with a single stage to be run after dark. Five further stages await the field on Saturday.
The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm on Friday. “The element of darkness certainly bring an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted. “Dalby is over eleven miles in length, so there’s a lot of time to be gained or lost depending on how well it goes. Some of the other stages on Saturday are also longer than those we have had so far this year, so it will be a stern task throughout. We had a test earlier in the week and made some progress, I’m hoping that will be reflected in our result at the weekend.”
Despite not having won any of the rounds held to date, consistent points scoring sees Rhys Yates head the BRC leaderboard, one point ahead of Osian Pryce, with Matt Edwards having dropped to third following his retirement from the Grampian Rally with an engine misfire.
Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, which was last part of the BRC calendar in 2013, is based in the coastal town of Filey, where the Start and Finish cermonies will take place on the seafront. The event’s special stages total 56 miles/90 kilometres, and following two British Championship rounds held ‘behind closed doors’, spectators will be admitted to the Friday night stage and some on Saturday.
Four-time champion Cronin will be guided as usual by co-driver, Mikie Galvin, in the NPL Rally Hire & Preparation tended Fiesta, which, in addition to the primary support of Hankook Tire, is also backed by M. O’Brien Group of Companies, Rentokil Initial, Cremin Coaches, Cronin’s Centra, Cronin’s Homevalue and M-Sport.
Trackrod Rally Yorkshire – Timetable (First Car Due)
Friday 24th September, 2021
Ceremonial Start Filey 19:01
Stage 1 Dalby 20:06
Saturday 25th September, 2021
Stage 2 Cropton 09:24
Stage 3 Gale Rigg 09:54
Stage 4 Staindale 10:50
Service Filey 11:48
Stage 5 Langdale 13:11
Stage 6 Dalby 13:59
Finish Filey 15:08
2021 Trackrod Rally Yorkshire- Top Ten Seeds
1. Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod, Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
2. Osian Pryce/Noel O’Sullivan, Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
3. Rhys Yates/James Morgan, Ford Fiesta Rally 2
4. Matthew Wilson/Stuart Loudon, Ford Fiesta Rally 2
5. Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin, Ford Fiesta Rally 2
6. Ollie Mellors/Max Freeman, Proton Iriz R5
7. Garry Pearson/Niall Burns, Skoda Fabia R5
8. James Wilson/Arthur Kierans, Hyundai i20 R5
9. Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson, Ford Fiesta Rally 2
10. Seb Perez/Gary McElhinney, Ford Fiesta Rally 2
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