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Cronin & Galvin win 2024 West Cork Rally

Keith Cronin & Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta Rally 2) were the convincing winners of the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally with just over a minute to spare after three tough days of rallying. The Cork / Kerry combination took the lead early on the second day in atrocious conditions and were never seriously threatened once Callum Devine suffered a puncture on the third of Saturdays stages.

Keith Cronin & Mikie Galvin

The weather was much kinder on Sundays six stages and Cronin showed a masterclass in managing the lead throughout the day, never letting his concentration slip, to become the first Cork winner of the event since 2013. At the finish he had 57.2 seconds to spare over Matt Edwards & David Moynihan in similar Fiesta Rally 2. The Ford domination completed with William Creighton & Liam Regan (Ford Fiesta Rally 2) coming home in third place a further twenty-nine seconds further back.

Keith Cronin & Mikie Galvin

Winners Podium

Creighton, the Junior World Rally Champion, took several fastest times in an impressive showing over the weekend. Winners for the past two years Josh Moffett & Andy Hayes had to settle for fourth place on this occasion, but the Monaghan driver showed good pace today as he finally got to drive the Citroen on dry roads for a full day.

Josh Moffett & Andy Hayes

Jonny Greer & Niall Burns (Citroen C3) were a steady fifth place ahead of David Kelly & Dean O’Sullivan (VW Polo) who had an event long battle with Eddie Doherty & Tom Murphys Skoda Fabia. Gary Kiernan & John McCabe (Fiesta Rally 2) finished in eighth place ahead of Owen Murphy & Anthony Nestors Citroen. Local drivers Jason McSweeney & David Guest had both been in the top ten but went off the road on the final loop at Glandore & Sams Cross, respectively. Michael Boyle & Dermot McCafferty had a steady run to tenth place in their VW Polo.

Kevin Eves & Chris Melly were impressive modified winners once their got their noses in front on the Saturday. Their task was made easier on the first stage on Sunday at Ardfield once Jonathan Pringle & Pearse O’Callaghan went off the road. Colin Byrne & Stephen Quin inherited second place, but they too retired with just three stages to go, and it was Damian Toner & Kevin Horgan who took second in their Escort with JF Shovelin & Terence Furey in another Escort taking third place.

The Rally 4 category was impressively won by Ryan McHugh & Declan Boyle (Ford Fiesta) from Ioan Lloyd & Sion Williams (Peugeot 208) with Cian Caldwell & Liam Egan (Peugeot 208) taking third place.

Tomas Davies

The Historic Rally was closely contested between Welsh drivers Tomas Davies & Neil Williams, both in Ford Escort Mk2s. With two stages to go Davies held a thirty-three second advantage, but Williams put a massive push on over the final pair of stages to close the gap to just 11 seconds by the end. Ray Breen had been in third place but put his Subaru Legacy off the road on stage 15, Sams Cross. This left Wayne Evans into third place to make it a Welsh 1-2-3 at the top of the leaderboard.

Kyle Browne

The Junior Rally was won by Kyle Browne from Evan McEvoy who survived a big moment on Ardfield with Graham Roche in third place, all three drivers in Honda Civics.

Words: Kevin O'Driscoll

Pictures: Cian Donnellan (CianDon)

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