Italian examination next on the cards for Breen

One of the most arduous events in the World Rally Championship, Rally Italia Sardegna (Round 7), marks the beginning of Citroen’s post-Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle era.

Italian examination next on the cards for Breen

The pair’s dismissal from the French team has dominated the WRC scene since the last round, in Portugal, where they crashed heavily. This weekend, Craig Breen/Scott Martin and Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen will, according to team principal, Pierre Budar, “keep moving forward and get among the frontrunners.”

It’s debatable if Breen is now under more pressure, since Meeke’s departure, but the Waterford man says the event is a huge challenge. “This is one of the WRC rallies where I have the least experience, but, fortunately, it hasn’t changed much since last year and so I have most of the pace notes. It’s not necessarily my favourite event.”

A positive for Breen is his road position — he runs eighth — and the earlier cars will sweep the loose gravel from the stages.

Rally Portugal winner, Thierry Neville (Hyundai), leads M-Sport driver, Sebastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta), by 19 points.

Meanwhile, tomorrow’s third round of the McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship, the Modern Tyres Mourne Rally, will feature eight challenging stages in Slieve Gullion and Camlough.

Series leader and seven-time champion, Derek McGarrity, is set to drive his S14 Subaru WRC, but could appear in a different car. Opposition includes James Laverty (Subaru) and the Escorts of David Armstrong, Norman Armstrong — both former winners — Camillus Bradley, James Kennedy, and Damian Toner. First stage is at 9.15am.

On Sunday, Kilkenny’s Enda O’Brien (Ford Escort) headlines the Portlaoise-based Acesigns Laois Heartlands Rally. Another former winner, Carlow’s David Condell (Ford Escort), along with Kildare’s Jack Newman and Midleton’s Colin Byrne, also in Escorts, complete the top four. The Mitsubishis of Alan Smyth and Brian O’Keeffe break up a Ford top ten that also has places for Dan Gorman, Sam Smyth, Leon Galvin, and Alan Atcheson. Glanmire’s Eamonn O’Connell (Ford Fiesta S2000) and Conor McCrossan (Skoda Fabia S2000) should make inroads to the top ten. Based at O’Loughlin’s Hotel, Portlaoise, the first of the day’s six stages begins at 11.30am.

Tomorrow evening, also at O’Loughlin’s Hotel, the awards for the National Navigation Championship will be presented. The Monaghan/Cork pairing of Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes will receive the main award. Cork’s Matt Griffin teams up with fellow professional driver, Italian Marco Cioci, for Sunday’s round three of the International GT Open series at Spa Francorchamps. It’s an extra race for Griffin in a very busy season and follows a request from Ferrari, as American team, Luzich Racing, decided to race a third car.

In the British F4 Championship, the fifth round, at Oulton Park, offers Shanagarry racer, Luca Allen (Fortec Motorsport), a chance to improve on his eighth-place race finish. That is his best result out of the twelve races to date. As usual, the weekend will have three races.

The Munster Autocross Championship continues on Sunday, with the Premier Autoparts Imokilly Autocross (Round 4), at the Scarriff Plant Hire complex in Ballinacurra, outside Midleton.

More in this section

CourtsPlace: PortugalPlace: WaterfordPlace: Slieve GullionPlace: CamloughPlace: O’LoughlinPlace: HotelPlace: PortlaoisePlace: O’Loughlin’s HotelPlace: Spa FrancorchampsPlace: Oulton ParkPlace: Scarriff Plant Hire complexPlace: BallinacurraPlace: MidletonPerson: BreenPerson: Kris MeekePerson: Paul NaglePerson: Craig BreenPerson: Scott MartinPerson: Mads OstbergPerson: Torstein EriksenPerson: Pierre BudarPerson: MeekePerson: Thierry NevillePerson: Sebastien OgierPerson: Derek McGarrityPerson: James LavertyPerson: David ArmstrongPerson: Norman ArmstrongPerson: Camillus BradleyPerson: James KennedyPerson: Damian TonerPerson: Enda O’BrienPerson: David CondellPerson: Jack NewmanPerson: MidletonPerson: Colin ByrnePerson: Alan SmythPerson: Brian O’KeeffePerson: Dan GormanPerson: Sam SmythPerson: Leon GalvinPerson: Alan AtchesonPerson: Eamonn O’ConnellPerson: Conor McCrossanPerson: Derek MackarelPerson: Muireann HayesPerson: Matt GriffinPerson: Marco CiociPerson: GriffinPerson: ShanagarryPerson: Luca AllenEvent: World Rally ChampionshipEvent: Rally Italia SardegnaEvent: WRCEvent: Rally PortugalEvent: McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally ChampionshipEvent: Modern Tyres Mourne RallyEvent: Laois Heartlands RallyEvent: National Navigation ChampionshipEvent: International GT OpenEvent: British F4 ChampionshipEvent: Munster Autocross ChampionshipEvent: Premier Autoparts Imokilly AutocrossOrganisation: CitroenOrganisation: HyundaiOrganisation: M-SportOrganisation: Ford FiestaOrganisation: SubaruOrganisation: Ford EscortOrganisation: MitsubishisOrganisation: FordOrganisation: MonaghanOrganisation: CorkOrganisation: FerrariOrganisation: Luzich RacingOrganisation: Fortec Motorsport
ieStyle Live 2021 Logo
ieStyle Live 2021 Logo

IE Logo
Outdoor Trails

Discover the great outdoors on Ireland's best walking trails

IE Logo
Outdoor Trails

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up