Breen takes debut UK win for Fiesta S2000 Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts won International Rally NI, part of the Toddsleap.com Ulster Rally by a margin of nearly a minute and a half after two days of competition, not only his debut event win,...
Breen takes debut UK win for Fiesta S2000
Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts won International Rally NI, part of the Toddsleap.com Ulster Rally by a margin of nearly a minute and a half after two days of competition, not only his debut event win, but the first UK victory for the awesome Fiesta Super 2000.
Keith Cronin and Barry McNulty took second, strengthening their bid for back to back victories in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, after a fierce fight with Gwyndaf Evans and Phil Pugh ended when the Welshman hit a wall and cooked the engine.
Cronin's second place helps Pirelli TEG Sport move back into the lead of the prestigious Dulux Trade MSA Teams Rally Championship as his team-mates Adam Gould and Craig Drew finished the event in a creditable fourth place.
Sandwiched between Cronin and Gould, respectively current and past winners of the Pirelli Star Driver competition, were Alastair Fisher and Rory Kennedy. The local crew had a frustratingly lonely rally, the youngster unable to find the last ounce of commitment on the ultra fast sections, but sufficiently quick to take top Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge honours.
Taking the Pirelli Star Driver nomination on Rally NI was absolute newcomer to the championship. Having registered before the last round, Rally Isle of Man Irish duo Daniel McKenna and his co-driver Andrew Grennan set some excellent stage times, beating Fisher on several of the two days' stages. Despite retiring on the penultimate stage, his performance was all the more impressive as the event was his first in a four wheel drive car, the Mitsubishi Evo 9 hired just for this event.
Still leading the championship and still surprised to be doing so was Jonny Greer. Who, ably guided by Dai Roberts, finished sixth registered driver despite a broken gear linkage on the final stage.
Certainly worthy of note, although not registered for the Dulux Trade BRC, was Frenchman Bryan Bouffier, who finished first two wheel drive and fifth overall on the stunning Citro0x00ebn DS3 R3 rally car's International debut. The car ran faultlessly and could be a force to be reckoned with in next year's championship.
Leading championship two wheel drive runners were Elfyn Evans and Andrew Edwards who survived a notchy gearbox late on to take not only seventh place of the DTBRC crews, but secure maximum points in the Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy. The sixth straight win is more than enough to seal the series for the youngster who only needed a single point to take the title.
Also running in the Rally 2 class were top placed Citro0x00ebn racing Trophy crew Mark Donnelly and Aiden Friel who kept their heads while many of the other one-make series runners lost theirs. They counted themselves lucky though to be at the Antrim finish having suffered a total electrical shutdown and subsequent misfire on the final stage.
The sole finisher in the Swift Sport Cup was Tom Clark with new co-driver Chris Brooks. They had a fraught weekend, using three gearboxes in their Suzuki and forced to use Super Rally to re-start on Saturday when the second replacement proved time-consuming to change.
The only registered finishers in the Rally 3 class were yet again brothers Steve and Tony Graham, who nursed their diesel Astra round on Saturday with a standard differential, their competition one uncharacteristically failing.
Greenlight Television's excellent coverage from Ulster will be shown on Sky Sports 2 on Monday 23rd August at 21.30, repeated on other Sky Sports channels in the following days.