CAMBRIAN GRAVEL AWAITS CRONIN
Saturday’s Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally marks the penultimate round of the 2021 British Rally Championship, and the final gravel surface event of the season. For Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin, it represents an opportunity to recover momentum in the Hankook Tire Ford Fiesta Rally 2, after a troubled outing on their most recent BRC start in Yorkshire.
“I’d obviously prefer to have more points on the board at this stage of the season,” admitted Cronin. “We had various niggles on the Nicky Grist Rally in July and the Trackrod last time out, so we could do with a clean run this time. Hopefully we’ll have a good result in the bag on Saturday evening. The Cambrian is a convenient rally for Irish spectators to attend, it’s only a short run from the ferry at Holyhead to Conwy county and Llandudno, where it’s based.”
The Cambrian route will total seven stages in all, amounting to 44 competitive miles. There will be two loops of the forest tests in Gwydir, Penmachno and Alwen, the latter two having previously been regular features of Rally GB. The seventh and final stage is Twin Lakes, which, unusually for a forest-based rally, will consist entirely of tarmac roads.
Indeed, when reviewing the route, it was the Twin Lakes test which stood out to Cronin as that which may require the greatest of caution. “The tarmac stage will certainly offer a sting in the tail, it may be only just over three miles long, but the cars still be on gravel tyres, as there is no servicing beforehand, and those tyres will have done three forest stages already. Any last minute heroics could easily backfire.”
There is an outside chance that championship leader, Osian Pryce, will wrap up the title on the Cambrian, if his nearest challenger, Matt Edwards, was to hit trouble, but it is more likely that the fight will be decided on the final round in Northern Ireland next month.
Specators are permitted to attend the Cambrian stages, but car parking must be booked and paid for in advance via eventbrite.co.uk. There is no spectator access to the service area.
Those who are unable to attend the Cambrian Rally in person can keep up to date through extensive online coverage. In addition to the usual live updates provided on the British Rally Championship’s own webpage, an experienced line-up of stage-end reporters, including Julian Porter, Chris Rawes, Killian Duffy and Andy Walsh, will broadcast throughout the day on cambrianrally.co.uk/live, while media students from Coleg Llandrillo will be on site to relay news from the service area, and two stages will be livestreamed in full.
The Hankook Tire Ford Fiesta of Cronin and co-driver, Mikie Galvin, is also supported by M. O’Brien Group of Companies, Rentokil Initial, Cremin Coaches, Cronin’s Centra, Cronin’s Homevalue and M-Sport.
2021 Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally – Timetable (First Car Due)
Saturday, 30th October, 2021
Ceremonial Start Promenade, Llandudno 08:00
Stage 1 Gwydir 1 08:43
Stage 2 Penmachno 1 09:19
Stage 3 Alwen 1 10:22
Service Coleg Llandrillo 11:40
Stage 4 Gwydir 2 12:53
Stage 5 Penmachno 2 13:29
Stage 6 Alwen 2 14:32
Stage 7 Twin Lakes 15:01
Finish Promenade, Llandudno 16:18
2021 Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally – Top Ten Seeds
1. Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod, Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
2. Osian Pryce/Noel O’Sullivan, Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
3. Matthew Wilson/Elliott Edmondson, Ford Fiesta Rally 2
4. Rhys Yates/James Morgan, 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. Callum Black/Jack Morton, Ford Fiesta R5
9. Elliott Payne/Patrick Walsh, Ford Fiesta R5
10. Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson, Ford Fiesta Rally 2
Please credit photo to Jakob Ebrey Motorsport Photography.