Keith Cronin made a great leap in the defence of his British Rally Championship title, with a deserved victory on last weekend’s Rally Isle of Man, which saw typically unpredictable weather conditions throughout.

Cronin came out on top after an early, and intense, battle with Gwyndaf Evans, but the Welshman fell back after an off during the first day, allowing Cronin to secure a dominant victory on the time sheets.

Evans finished second to keep the momentum on his title assault, despite losing two minutes whilst stuck in a ditch. A strong recovery drive saw him reclaim second place, and finish the rally 1m38s behind Cronin.

Cronin had his own scare during the same stage, when the Irishman struck a bank, but it made no difference to the end result.

“I am very pleased to be back here. The car worked well, in such treacherous conditions you need to have confidence and we were able to push when we needed to. TEIN and TEG Sport have worked wonders to the car!”, said a delighted Cronin at the ceremonial finish in Douglas.

Jason Pritchard rounded off the podium in the Subaru Impreza, with an overall time just over 3 minutes behind Gwyndaf Evans.

Keith Cronin and Barry McNulty celebrate their Victory

Speaking after the event, Evans said “Of course we would have liked to have won, but second is still a big result”, adding “Although we were unlucky to have spun into the ditch, we were also lucky to be able to keep going. It was a great shame, as I think it would have been a good battle for first place”.

Championship leader Jonathan Greer bolstered his position in the championship hunt with fourth place. He started the Manx event in the lead of the championship, and heads to his home round in the same position, and used sensible tactics to ensure that his position remained.

“As we couldn't be caught and it would be difficult to improve on our overall position, I must admit that we took it steady towards the end to make sure we made it to the finish”, said Greer.

In terms of the 2010 Dulux MSA British Rally Championship standings, things could not be closer.

Jonny Greer sits atop the standings with 62-points, followed closely by Gwyndaf Evans (58-points), Keith Cronin (56-points) and Jason Pritchard (55-points).

The next round of the BRC sees the crews head to Antrim, Northern Ireland. The event runs from the 20th to the 21st August.