PROTON head praises Cronin despite crash
“It was a monumental effort for his first time in the car”
PROTON R3 Rally Team boss Chris Mellors has described Keith Cronin’s performance on Barum Czech Rally Zlín today as “monumental” despite the Irishman crashing into retirement on the penultimate stage of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event.
Cronin had set a fifth and seventh best time on his debut in the Satria Neo S2000 and was on course for another top five performance when he left the road and crashed into a small river approximately one kilometre from the end of the 11.71-kilometre Semetín stage.
“It was a monumental effort for his first time in the car,” said Mellors. “Our car set-up was a bit of a compromise because we did our testing in the dry. But he coped brilliantly and set some great times. Okay it’s ended in an accident but that’s what you get when you’re travelling at this pace. It’s his first time here, the conditions have been atrocious but he’s been right up there.”
Cronin’s team-mate Niall McShea also failed to go the distance when a mechanical failure forced his retirement on Saturday’s final stage.