Keith Cronin Crowned 2017 Champion

The championship finale was on the well-rallied tarmac of the Isle of Man 14-16th September and three crews came to the Island with a mathematical chance of claiming the prestigious crown. Fredrik Ahlin (Skoda Fabia R5), Keith Cronin (Ford Fiesta R5) and Matt Edwards (Ford Fiesta R5) would fight for supremacy on the infamous island roads.

After three gruelling days of rally action it was Irishman Keith Cronin and co-driver Mikie Galvin who were crowned Prestone MSA British Rally Champions in their DMACK-shod Ford Fiesta R5, clinching the championship for M-Sport after taking both round 7 and round 8 victories on the island classic. Cronin won four rounds in 2017 on his way to the title and has now clinched Britains premier rallying series for a remarkable fourth time, incredibly in four different cars.

Fredrik Ahlin and Torstein Eriksen arrived at the championship showdown as the crew to beat, needing a third and a second to claim the title. The Skoda Fabia R5 crew had a difficult first round nursing gearbox and differential gremlins but claimed a third place behind Edwards to keep their title fight alive. Cronin had to do the double on Rally Isle of Man to stand any chance of the title and the Irishman delivered. Edwards, who had the same Evo2 upgrade as his Fiesta rival for the first time this season fought a ding-dong battle at the front throughout the second leg. Cronin led by 9.1 seconds going into the final stage, but Edwards gave it everything to haul in Cronin but the Welshman lost his first BRC win by an agonising 0.1 seconds.

Ahlin needed a second place to secure the title but a spin on cold tyres on the penultimate night stage on Friday evening put paid to his title chances and no matter how quick he drove. The Swedish star was always playing catch-up and couldnt close the gap to the front two losing out on becoming champion by one championship point.

2017 British Rally Championship Final Top Ten Positions

1. Keith Cronin 129
2. Fredrik Ahlin 128
3. Matt Edwards 94
4. Rhys Yates 70
5. Osian Pryce 66
6. Martin McCormack 57
7. Jamie Anderson 39
8. David Bogie 37
9. Alex Laffey 30
10. Desi Henry 24

20th September, 2017