Keith Cronin says he wants to get back behind the wheel of a PROTON Satria Neo S2000 in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge following a promising debut for the Malaysian manufacturer on Barum Czech Rally Zlin last week.
The 24-year-old Irishman had posted a succession of top 10 fastest stage times when he crashed out close to the finish of the penultimate stage of the opening day of the demanding asphalt event.
He said: "I want to do something with PROTON again but I don’t know when at the moment. It took me a little while to get to grips with the car but it was perfect, a fantastic car. I couldn’t believe it when I went off. It was so disappointing and I hurt my wrist a bit but that was nothing compared with the feeling of being out of the event. But it was a fantastic chance for me and one I’m not going to forget for a long time."
Cronin and co-driver Barry McNulty were in 14th overall when they crashed. They were fifth fastest on stage six of the event and seventh quickest on stage seven, despite overshooting a junction.
PROTON’s next IRC outing is currently scheduled for October’s RACMSA Rally of Scotland.
Route changes for Rally of Scotland revealed
The penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, October’s RACMSA Rally of Scotland, has undergone a few changes with the addition of a new stage on the final day of the spectacular gravel event.
A new stage, Clashmore, has been introduced to replace Achray, which can no longer be used due to access issues, on day two of the event. As a result, the Loch Ard stage will be trimmed from 33.52 kilometres to 29.04 kilometres to accommodate the new test.
Furthermore, the finish at Stirling Castle on Sunday 17 October will also be 30 minutes earlier than scheduled at 15:04hrs local time, while the remote service on Sunday has been switched from Callander to Aberfoyle.
Clerk of the Course Iain Campbell said: "The new stage is more of a technical challenge than we had before. The start is very narrow with off-camber corners before joining a new forest road that takes in part of the Loch Ard stage. The final two-thirds are very fast and the committed driver will make the most of this test."
More information on the event can be found via the official website www.rallyofscotland.com.
Zlin Subaru Individual Award for Stajf
The latest Subaru Individual Award has gone to Vojtech Stajf following his run to 17th place on Barum Czech Rally Zlin, which took place in southeast Czech Republic from 27-29 August.
Driving for the Czech National Subaru Team, Stajf was making his second start in this year’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge following his appearance on Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo in January where he finished 14th alongside regular co-driver Marcela Doleckova.
The Subaru Individual Award is presented on each of the 12 IRC rounds this year to the highest-placed Subaru finisher and demonstrates the support that Subaru is extending to its customer drivers in the IRC in 2010.
Olivier Burri (Monte Carlo), Juan San Martin (Curitiba), Gabriel Pozzo (Argentina), Jose Barrios (Canary Islands), Teemu Arminen (Sardinia), Florian Gonon (Ypres), Sergio Silva (Azores) and Pedro Meireles (Madeira) are the other Subaru Individual Award winners so far this season.
Miclotte reveals late scare in Zlin
Barum Czech Rally Zlin-winning navigator Frederic Miclotte has revealed that he and driver Freddy Loix suffered a dramatic moment of their own in the closing stages of the thrilling Intercontinental Rally Challenge event, which featured three changes of lead on the final four stages.
The Belgian pair secured their third win in as many starts in the IRC this season on the rain-hit asphalt rally in their Skoda Motorsport Fabia S2000. Despite being a relatively comfortable 25 seconds clear of closest rivals Juho Hanninen and Mikko Markkula at the finish in Zlin on Sunday afternoon, there was a moment when Miclotte feared their bid for victory would end prematurely.
"From looking at the data the team realised there was a problem with the gearbox and that it would have to be changed in the final service," said Miclotte. "We only had 20 minutes and it normally takes more than this. But the guys changed it in 14 minutes, which was really amazing. The team did a perfect job so we’re very happy even though it was quite a tense finish."