Triple British Rally Champion Keith Cronin will enter the 2017 championship driving a Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 ran by M-Sport with co-driver Mikie Galvin.
Irishman Cronin who won the BRC in 2009, 2010 and most recently in 2012 will drive in a full season campaign in Britain after concentrating on winning the Irish Tarmac Championship last season and will pilot a Fiesta R5 that will run on DMAK tyres.
He will also this season make the move to Ford and M-Sport where he will drive for the Cumbrian team for the first time in his career and has already competed in the Carrick-on-Suir Wm. Loughman Forestry Rally for his new team in preparation for his BRC assault.
Cronin said on the deal: “I’m really looking forward to the season ahead and to be working with M-Sport as we chase success on the stage of the British Rally Championship. It’s a fantastic series which has really come into its own recently and I can’t wait to be back competing in the championship.
He added: “I’m really excited about the Fiesta R5. I’ve not had a lot of seat time, but we’ll get a couple of rallies under our belt before the start of the season and hopefully it won’t take us long to find our feet. M-Sport are known for developing winning cars and my initial feeling has been good. The Fiesta is a great car to drive. It handles really well and I hope we’ll be able to challenge for some top results this year.”
The news comes on top of Ford registering as a manufacture in the BRC this season and Gerard Quinn, Senior Manager at Ford Performance added: “Ford is the most successful manufatrer in the British Rally Championship taking the title no less than nineteen times so it is appropriate that one of the championships drivers, Keith Cronin, will return to the series in a Ford Fiesta R5 in 2017.”
While Malcolm Wilson OBE, M-Sport Managing Director also commented: “The British Rally Championship has always been a cornerstone of the rallying community both nationally and internationally. Having won the title with Elfyn Evans last year, it was important for us to continue our support of the series and I think we have another exciting season ahead of us.”
The 2017 Prestone British Rally Championship will take place over nine events this season beginning with the Border Counties Rally on March 17/18