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Thrilling Third Round Shakes Up Probite BRC Standings

Thrilling Third Round Shakes Up Probite BRC Standings

Keith Cronin's quest for a fifth Probite British Rally Championship title remains on track after a crucial win at the Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally held on May 24-25.

After a disappointing start to this year’s BRC campaign, Cronin and co-driver Mikie Galvin achieved their first victory of the season in their Ford Fiesta Rally2. This win was pivotal in reasserting their challenge for the coveted championship. They successfully held off the competition from 2019 Junior BRC champions William Creighton and Liam Regan, who finished second, while local favourites Garry Pearson and co-driver Daniel Barritt secured third place.

The rally took place over the challenging closed roads around the host town of Duns, featuring an extended Friday night format that proved to be a tough test for the BRC elite. The return of the iconic Langton watersplash test added to the anticipation of a classic rally event.

The Jim Clark Rally delivered high drama, especially with unpredictable conditions due to significant rainfall during the lead-up. Chris Ingram, excelling in wet conditions as he did in the North West Stages in March, dominated the early stages in the Castrol MEM Rally Team Volkswagen Polo GTi. The Michelin-backed car won the first three tests effortlessly, building a 20-second lead after the initial loop. However, Cronin made a stunning comeback in the Abbey St Bathans stage at night, narrowing the gap to just 8.6 seconds by the end of Friday.

Ingram’s fortune turned on Saturday morning when his Polo veered off course during the first pass of Edrom, damaging the front left suspension and forcing him to retire from the rally. This mishap provided Cronin with the opportunity he needed. A cautious and controlled drive through the final stages secured Cronin the top spot on the BRC podium for 2024, keeping his championship aspirations very much alive. 

Junior British Rally Championship, BRC3 and BRC4

The battle for the Junior BRC lead was intense all weekend, with Ryan MacHugh in the Fiesta Rally4 and Kyle McBride in the Peugeot 208 Rally4 trading seconds across the fourteen stages. McBride gained an early lead on Friday, but McHugh responded strongly as night fell. However, McHugh's off-road excursion on the final stage of the night allowed McBride and co-driver Darragh Mullen to reclaim and maintain the top spot.

Open Rally Title & National Rally Title

Callum Black and Jack Morton led the category from start to finish in their Fiesta Rally2. Their impressive asphalt speed earned them maximum points, finishing ahead of local crew Dale Robertson and Douglas Redpath in a similar car. Michael Binnie and Claire Mole had to settle for third place after losing several minutes on the final stage.

In the National Rally Title, Darren Atkinson and new co-driver Harry Stubs claimed their second consecutive victory finishing ahead of Matthew Dance and Jason Davies in second. Nathan Bolton and Phil Kenny secured third in their Mitsubishi Evo.

The British Rally Championship now enters a two-month sabbatical as August’s Voyonic Grampian Rally sees a return to the gravel for round four of the series in Banchory near Aberdeen.

The Jim Clark Rally will be broadcast on ITV4 and ITVX on Wednesday 5th June at 20:00 and repeated at 07:55 on Sunday 9th June.

Next article Osian Pryce secures victory at the Severn Valley Stages of the Probite BRC

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