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GP Week : Issue 65
23 year-old Mitsubishi driver Keith Cronin from County Cork in the south west corner of the Irish Republic has won the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire and thereby clinched the British title. Joint favourite Mark Higgins chose to drive an Impreza N14 in place of his usual old N11 and had a miserable event, unable to find the driving confidence needed on the fast straights and swerves of the Yorkshire forests, eventually crashing heavily on the final stage. His challenge faded on the first stage when he dropped 13.2 seconds to Cronin. For some time he remained 15-20 seconds behind, unable to make good the difference. Cronin's Evo IX was passed in mid-rally by Gwyndaf Evans' Evo X before the veteran Welsh driver punctured and eventually finished only ninth. In an impressive second place was Stuart Jones. Jones drove another Evo X and was happy to be in action after a lean two- year period in which he had only competed on five events. In third came Adam Gould who voluntarily offered Higgins his Impreza N14 after himself having a poor season. On this occasion he was driving the car which Higgins has normally used. Irishman Cronin wins British title FINALLY, Bulgaria and Global Promoters ISC have agreed a solution to the problem of the date of Rally Bulgaria. The event will finish on Saturday 10 July, the day before the football World Cup final. This has enabled the lists of all the world level rally activities in 2010 to be released by the FIA. As announced earlier, the original decision of the FIA in 2007 that the 2010 would consist of 12 rallies has been superseded -- now there will be 13. 2010 WRC calendar 1. Sweden: 14/02/10 2. Mexico: 07/03/10 3. Jordan: 04/04/10 4. Turkey: 18/04/10 5. New Zealand: 09/05/10 6. Portugal: 30/05/10 7. Bulgaria: 10/07/10 (Saturday finish) 8. Finland: 01/08/10 9. Germany: 22/08/10 10. Japan: 12/09/10 11. France: 03/10/10 12. Spain: 24/10/10 13. GB: 14/11/10 2010 calendars confirmed THE legendary Sanremo Rally, which represented Italy in the World Championship from 1973 till 2003 and now is part of the IRC series, has announced it will run a mixed surfaced rally again in 2010. As in earlier years this will incorporate asphalt stages in the current region of Liguria, along with gravel roads in Tuscany. This format was last run in 1992, when Lancia scored its final victory in the World Championship. The stages in this region were very popular in the old days though there has been considerable development of the area in recent years. On account of the FIA's rotation policy, Italy has no WRC event in 2010, so the 2010 IRC Sanremo Rally will be the country's most important rally. Sanremo returns to Tuscany FACED with the threat of losing the right to host the World Championship Rally of Ireland, authorities in Sligo have gone on the offensive. If the world championship is to return to Ireland in the future, there are current discussions that the event will start in Dublin, stop in the border town of Dundalk and finish in Belfast. Apart from issues with the wintry weather this year, competitors and visitors were unhappy with Sligo as a base for the event. They complained that Sligo (population less than 20,000) was an inordinately expensive town, there was a traffic nightmare in the town, that a route based there did not open up the chance to run the best stages in the island and prevented the chance to maximise on the originally declared concept of this cross- border event. This was to emphasize the new-found unity of Ireland's two nations. The suggestion to move also echoes the FIA's Global Promoters wish to bring the sport further towards places of high population, in order to maximise promotional opportunities. Sligo Fights Back WRC news >> 17