Breen claims Irish National Forest Championship

Three years after winning the Dunlop National Rally Championship, Kilkenny’s, Ray Breen (Ford Focus WRC) has won the Hankook Tyres Irish Forestry Championship.

He won today’s Nenagh based Birr Forest Rally, the final round of the series to clinch his second national title.

Breen, who was co-driven by Martin Brady, needed just to finish in the points.

However, the Kilkenny driver sealed his title success with a five second victory over the Subaru WRC pairing of Trevor Harding/Andrew Purcell (Subaru WRC).

Denis Cronin/Helen O’Sullivan (Subaru WRC) were third - almost a minute adrift.

Breen led after the first stage where he powered his Ford Focus into a four second lead.

However, by the end of the second test, Harding was 13 seconds in front as he revelled in the conditions.

The margin remained unchanged at the half way mark.

Harding was on course for victory until a gearbox malady cost him time, indeed, his seven second lead entering the final stage proved insufficient.

A dominant Breen took that stage victory by twelve seconds and event victory by five seconds.

Denis Cronin (Subaru) in third was followed by Colin Britton (Mitsubishi) and John Reid (Toyota Corolla WRC). Seamus O’Connell (Escort) was the top two-wheel drive exponent.

1. R. Breen/M. Brady (Ford Focus WRC) 45m. 44s.

2. T. Harding/A. Purcell (Subaru WRC) 45m. 49s.

3. D. Cronin/H. O’Sullivan (Subaru WRC) 46m. 47s.

4. C. Britton/A. Kierans (Mitsubishi) 47m. 11s.

5. J. Reid/E. Shiels (Toyota Corolla WRC) 41m. 18s.

6. L. Ryan/J. McGrath (Subaru) 48m. 38s.

Meanwhile, Wexford’s Eamonn Boland (Subaru WRC) was the top privateer in Rally de Espana, round twelve of the World Rally Championship. Co-driven by Waterford’s, Mickey Joe Morrissey, he finished fifteenth overall.

Their only moment of trouble came early yesterday when their Dom Buckley Motorsport run Subaru suffered a puncture.

Donegal’s, Shaun Gallagher (Citroen C2) and his Sligo co-driver, Paul Kiely were fourth in the Junior category of the WRC. Gallagher now shares second in the series with German driver, Aaron Burkart.

More in this Section

On this day in 2004: Chelsea appoint Jose Mourinho for the first timeOn this day in 2004: Chelsea appoint Jose Mourinho for the first time

On this day in 2008: Sven-Goran Eriksson leaves Man City despite fan supportOn this day in 2008: Sven-Goran Eriksson leaves Man City despite fan support

Knock-out might suit Cork hurlers, says Seanie McGrathKnock-out might suit Cork hurlers, says Seanie McGrath

Open GAA pitches to help people’s mental health, pleads FitzgeraldOpen GAA pitches to help people’s mental health, pleads Fitzgerald


Bless me readers, I have sinned. This week, we had more than a few visitors around, some water was wasted in the back garden and I was judgmental about my friends’ parenting style.Learner Dad: The highlight was when my daughter roared, ‘this is just like being on holidays’

Wearing gloves when out in public has become more prevalent and so has pulling them on in the garden during lockdown, writes Ray RyanIreland's growing love for gardening

Of all the times when Connell comes to Marianne’s rescue, the moment when he finally sticks it to her brother Alan is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most.Normal People recap: A grand finale with pocket rockets and swoonsome kisses

Dublin songstress, Imelda May.Imelda May returns with spoken word album Slip Of The Tongue

More From The Irish Examiner