Keith Cronin enters privately-run Grande Punto Abarth S2000 in IRC Rally Scotland

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Keith Cronin will be entering a privately-run Grande Punto Abarth S2000 in this weekend’s IRC Rally Scotland.

Keith Cronin's Grande Punto Abarth S2000 during prep

Keith Cronin's Grande Punto Abarth S2000 during prep

The British Rally Champion arrived in Perthshire earlier in the week to conduct testing and reconnaissance of the stages.

Since early in the year, plans were being made to contest Rally Scotland so that the team could test their pace against the regular IRC competitors. The original intention was to contest the event in their regular Mitsubishi. However, as the Cronin Motorsport team intend to contest a number of rounds of the IRC next season, it was decided that having won the British Rally Championship, they should get a taste of S2000 action prior to next year.

It took 10 days to get an acceptable deal put together for the hire of the PROCAR run Abarth Punto. A short testing session in Italy at the end of October was curtailed due to very heavy rainfall, so the crew will welcome another test before having to press into action against the current IRC champion Kris Meeke in his Peugeot, who is the number one seed. Seeded at number two is Guy Wilks, who was British Rally Champion in 2007 & 2008. He will drive a Skoda. Both of these will be very much the pacesetters as they have been competing in S2000 cars all season. Cronin and Shinnors are seeded at number 3 in the Punto, just ahead of Adam Gould who was awarded the BF Goodrich drive in a sister car to Meekes Peugeot.

Cronin welcomes the opportunity to compete at this level but knows that it will be a steep learning curve as the pace in these cars is much faster than the regular Group N cars.

Last weekend he commented “The most important thing for me in Scotland is to get mileage in the car to get used to the different driving style and then build my speed and hopefully set some competitive times.”

See: www.keithcroninrallying.com

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