Breen and Nagle fail to shine in Portugal

The pair finished a distant eighth overall in the Vodafone Rally de Portugal, round four of the World Rally Championship. 
Breen and Nagle fail to shine in Portugal

Craig Breen steers his Ford Puma Rally 1 with Irish co-driver Paul Nagle during the SS19 stage of the Rally of Portugal in Fafe, on Sunday. 

Waterford’s Craig Breen and his Killarney co-driver Paul Nagle brought their Ford Puma Rally1 to a distant eighth overall in the Vodafone Rally de Portugal, round four of the World Rally Championship. 

On the opening day, the pair had to contend with dust in the cockpit that resulted in poor visibility. They ended the day third of the M-Sport crews. During Saturday’s leg they lost time as hard tyres and brake troubles hampered them on the day’s final stage. Those brake problems resurfaced all through Sunday’s final leg, dropping them two places to eighth - a position that also dropped Breen from third to sixth in the Drivers’ championship.

For the third event in succession, Finland’s Kalle Rovanpera (Toyota Yaris Rally1) took victory, he finished 15.2 seconds ahead of his Gazoo Racing team mate Elfyn Evans, Rovanpera also won the Power Stage to take maximum points and extend his championship lead over Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville to 46 points. On what was his first WR appearance of the season Spain’s Dani Sordo (Hyundai) snatched third to deny Takamoto Katsuta and his Northern Ireland co-driver Aaron Johnston of a Toyota lock-out of the top three. Motorsport Ireland academy driver Josh McErlean (Hyundai i20 Rally2) was the fastest driver through Saturday evening’s Super Special stage in Porto.

Meanwhile, Derry’s Desi Henry (Ford Fiesta R5) and his Donegal co-driver Paddy Robinson took a dramatic final stage victory in the Claudy based Eakin Bros Brian James Trailers Rally as they edged out the Tyrone/Cork duo of Cathan McCourt/Liam Moynihan (Citroen C3) by just 2.3 seconds. McCourt lost over ten seconds on the first stage when his Citroen, his third different car in as many rallies, stalled on the start line. Moving into the lead after the third stage, McCourt appeared to have done enough until he overshot on the final junction of the final stage gifting victory to Henry. Garry Jennings (Fiesta R5) was third. Antrim’s Derek McGarrity (VW Polo GTi R5), who was seventh, now leads the McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship.

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