Craig Breen and Scott Martin eighth in Rally Sweden

Waterford’s Craig Breen and his British co-driver Scott Martin brought their Abu Dhabi Total Citroen DS3 WRC home in eighth in Rally Sweden, the second round of the World Rally Championship. Victory went to Frenchman Sebastien Ogier (VW Polo WRC) by 29.8 seconds from New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon (Hyundai i20 WRC). Norway’s Mads Ostberg (Ford Fiesta WRC) was 25.8 seconds further behind in third.
Craig Breen and Scott Martin eighth in Rally Sweden

Ogier secured maximum points as he also won the Power Stage where Andreas Mikkelsen (VW Polo WRC) was second and Kris Meeke (Citroen DS3 WRC) took the final point.

Meeke and his Killarney co-driver Paul Nagle running under Rally 2 posted some strong times during the second and third legs.

Breen enjoyed a good day during Saturday’s stages, the Waterford driver noticed he had a puncture before the start of the Super Special stage.

“Our spare tyre was already very worn, so we lost a bit of time there.”

At the finish he said, “I have really enjoyed driving this car. Sometimes, it felt like I was driving in a video game.

"Getting to the end was the main aim so I’m glad to have made it here and I’ve got some very good experience. I also scored my first points in the WRC, which is an important milestone. I couldn’t have hoped for a better weekend.”

Meanwhile, Monaghan’s Sam Moffett and co-driver James Fulton took their Ford Fiesta R5 to victory in the Willie Loughman Carrick on Suir Forest Rally, the opening round of the Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship.

They finished a minute and 3.6 seconds ahead of the Mitsubishi of Omagh’s Patrick O’Brien/Aine McGuigan with Monaghan’s Michael Carbin/Darragh Kelly (Mitsubishi) 26.9 seconds further behind in third.

On the opening stage Moffett led O’Brien by six seconds with the Mitsubishi of Tipperary’s Liam Ryan and Tyrone’s Niall McCullagh also in contention.

McCullagh was the dominant driver through the remaining three stages but was fortunate to survive a huge moment soon after the start of S.S. 3.

At the Carrick on Suir service halt he led Moffett by 14.6 seconds.

O’Brien, 31.6 seconds further adrift in third broke the front differential on S.S. 2 and had no intercom on S.S. 4. Carbin, Ballyvourney’s Gerard Lucey and Ryan completed the top six.

John Gordon (Escort) led the two-wheel drive category – two tenths of a second ahead of the Escort of Adrian Hetherington, who spun and was off the track on the third stage.

Moffett reduced the deficit to 6.3 seconds on S.S. 5, the sixth stage was cancelled and McCullagh slid off on the penultimate stage Moffett pushed hard on the final two stages to take victory. Hetherington won the two-wheel drive category.

Former champion, Dermot Kelly and co-driver Greg Shinnors (Mitsubishi) teamed up for the first time in over ten years and finished seventh.

Elsewhere, Kenny McKinstry (Subaru WRC) took a final stage victory to clinch the Pacenotes Rally Magazine Kirkistown Rally.

The Banbridge driver finished 13.2 seconds ahead of the Ford Fiesta WRC of Derek McGarrity.

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