Motorsport: Craig Breen back in his ‘happy place’ with WRC return

Motorsport: Craig Breen back in his ‘happy place’ with WRC return
Craig Breen

Craig Breen’s return to the World Rally Championship with Hyundai Motorsport has given the Waterford ace the opportunity to showcase his ability on this weekend’s Rally Sweden, where, just two years ago he secured his best ever result (second) in the WRC.

With Killarney’s Paul Nagle alongside, the duo will certainly make the most of the opportunity.

“I am very humbled to have the chance of getting behind the wheel of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC again. From the first moment I drove the car, I felt a lot of confidence and I could drive my own natural way.

Sweden is a rally I enjoy, I scored my best-ever result in the World Championship there a few years ago. Hopefully the conditions will be favourable.

When I am back in my happy place driving a WRC car, I will have a nice weekend.”

Northern Ireland’s Jon Armstrong and Killarney’s Noel O’Sullivan (Ford Fiesta) compete in the JWRC.

There are four stages today with a total of 63.68km through the forests on the borders of Sweden and Norway.

On the domestic front, two championships get underway at the weekend with the new-look five-round McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship opening its account on the Pacenotes Rally in Kirkistown and the Willie Loughman Carrick on Suir Forest Rally kickstarting the Valvoline Forest series.

Monaghan’s Stephen Wright (Ford Fiesta R5) became the first driver from the 26 counties to win the NI series last year and tomorrow begins his title defence against his main adversary Glengormley’s Derek McGarrity (Skoda Fabia R5) who is aiming for an unprecedented ninth title.

On Sunday, the Willie Loughman Forest Rally in the forests of south-Tipperary ushers in the Valvoline Championship.

Last year’s event runner-up Waterford’s Andrew Purcell and Cork co-driver Liam Brennan should be a major force in the P&M Autos backed Ford Fiesta R5.

Tipperary’s Liam Ryan is on board a Fiesta R5 with the experienced Limerick co-driver Keith Moriarty calling the notes.

Former Billy Coleman award winner and MI Academy backed driver Armagh’s James Wilson will drive the PCRS run Hyundai i20 R5.

Ballyvourney’s Gerard Lucey and Monaghan’s Michael Carbin along with Waterford’s Keith Power campaign versions of the Mitsubishi Evo.

The main contenders in the two-wheel drive category are Tyrone’s Paul Barrett (Ford Escort) and Cavan’s Gary Kiernan, also in an Escort.

Elsewhere, the Skibbereen and District Car Club’s Loose Surface Autocross at Derryleigh — to the west of Leap — kicks off the Munster Autocross Championship.

Cork drivers Dermot O’Riordan, Paul O’Driscoll, Fachtna McCarthy, Stevey Lane, Brian O’Mahony, all in the Semog Buggy will face outside opposition from the similar machines of Clare’s Brian Hassett and Wexford’s Paul Furlong. Leap’s Diarmuid French (Special) is also on the entry list.

The action begins at 10.45am.

More on this topic

Fourth generation of Toyota Yaris beginning to take shapeFourth generation of Toyota Yaris beginning to take shape

Skoda electric SUV has ‘Irish name’ EnyaqSkoda electric SUV has ‘Irish name’ Enyaq

Auto industry can learn from the MazdaAuto industry can learn from the Mazda

Ford Motor falls further behind upstart TeslaFord Motor falls further behind upstart Tesla

More in this Section

Courcey Rovers setting the paceCourcey Rovers setting the pace

Ford says England will tap into anguish of 2018 defeat ahead of Ireland clashFord says England will tap into anguish of 2018 defeat ahead of Ireland clash

Arsenal boss Arteta sympathetic towards former club Man City following UEFA banArsenal boss Arteta sympathetic towards former club Man City following UEFA ban

'He's got a bad one': Ciaran Clark a major doubt for Ireland's Euro 2020 play-off'He's got a bad one': Ciaran Clark a major doubt for Ireland's Euro 2020 play-off


Lifestyle

When Marisa Murphy went to play as a teenager on Dinish Island, she could still see the flowers growing among the ruins in her grandmother’Islands of Ireland: Barely inhabitated Dinish became an industrial zone

MAC make-up artist Lucy Bridge shares her tips backstage at Roland Mouret.How to create the perfect matte red lip, according to a backstage beauty expert

New trends include chunky heeled boots, silver belts and lots of plaid from the British designer.Victoria Beckham got ‘rebellious’ for her new collection – as David and family watched on

When horses were shown photographs of angry human faces, their hearts speeded up.Jackass penguin talk is similar to humans

More From The Irish Examiner