Niall Breen joined the Formula BMW UK series in 2005, after competing in the European FA Kart championship, and come the end of the 2006 season he was the UK champion. Formula BMW is full of very competitive youngsters but the 20 year-old Irishman...
Niall Breen joined the Formula BMW UK series in 2005, after competing in the European FA Kart championship, and come the end of the 2006 season he was the UK champion. Formula BMW is full of very competitive youngsters but the 20 year-old Irishman was not totally surprised to come out on top.
"I struggled a bit in pre-season testing but once I got going and got my first win I never looked back really," Breen told Motorsport.com at the Formula BMW World Final in Valencia. "I had two outright podiums in my first year as a rookie, so it wasn't unexpected to do well (this season)."
Breen, with Fortec Motorsport, finished the season with 304 points, nearly a hundred ahead of his closest rival. Evidently it was a good year but what did he think was his best race? "Probably Thruxton," he smiled. "I was so far ahead of everybody else!" And the worst? "The first race of the year (Brands Hatch) when I spun off all by myself…"
At the World Final all four branches of Formula BMW -- UK, Germany, USA and Asia -- converge for the drivers to fight it out. For many of them it's the first time they have competed against drivers from the other nations. "The Germans seem pretty quick at the minute!" Breen remarked about his rivals.
That proved to be the case as German champion Christian Vietoris went on to win the World Final. Breen didn't have an easy race and finished 13th but it was not a bad result from a 36 car field. Now that is over and done with he has his plans for the future to put into action.
"I was racing in the Formula Renault winter series in England this year," he explained. "I finished second in that, so I'll have to up the effort and see, and maybe Formula Three as well." As for the longer term, he plans to stick with Renault. "The World Series, hopefully," he added. "If I do well (next season) it should be the World Series the year after."
Of course, most drivers only have one ultimate goal; Formula One. Breen is no different and has a backer to help his ambitions. "I have a three year plan with my sponsor that will hopefully take us there or close to it," he said of F1. "When you're winning they're (the sponsor) happy!"