Waterford’s Craig Breen and co-driver Paul Nagle, Killarney on their way to scoring a 14 second win in the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick.
While battling to find a drive in the World Rally Championships, Waterford’s Craig Breen took time to get his season off to a great start by scoring a 14 second win in the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally at the weekend, heading a clean sweep of the top four positions by Ford Fiesta drivers.
Breen, with his Killarney co-driver Paul Nagle, dropped some time on the opening stage when he overshot a junction, leaving double Galway winners Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy as the early leaders in their Impreza. Stage two saw Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble set best time in their Fiesta, briefly giving them the lead, but Breen took over top place at the end of the first loop of three stages, just three tenths of a second ahead of Jennings.
The Fermanagh and Waterford rivals swapped positions twice more in quick succession before Jennings slid off the road and out of the rally, and Breen was never headed for the rest of the day. Fisher finished as the runner up, with defending Irish Tarmac title holder Josh Moffett third, another 34 seconds down. His elder brother Sam, another former Tarmac champion, was an early casualty when he too went off the road in the very slippery conditions.