Motorsport Ireland Report: Breen’s loss was gain for Ravens Rock
There was drama abound on the Ypres Rally in Belgium this weekend where a trio of bright young Irish drivers all failed to make the finish on the 5th round of the FIA European Rally Championship.
Waterford driver Craig Breen arrived in Belgium on the back of 3 consecutive wins but was thwarted in efforts of making it 4 in a row. Breen raced into an early lead in his Peugeot 208 T15 R5 but a puncture on stage 11 dropped him to 2nd overall. In a effort to retake the lead, Breen had a minor excursion on the following stage which damaged the cooling on the Peugeot. At the end of stage when Breen went to restart the car, the overheated engine refused to turn over forcing him into retirement. Breen however, can take some conciliation in the form that he still leads the European Championship and with 7 points gained from his day 1 performance, his points tally now stands at 124. Breen’s nearest challenger, Kajetan Kajetanowicz from Poland lies second on a total of 103 points. Meanwhile, Monaghan brothers Sam and Josh Moffett endured a tough event. The pair showed impressive early pace in their Ford Fiesta Regional Rally Cars but a rear puncture for Josh and a poor tyre choice from Sam saw the bothers drop down the leader board at the end of day 1. On Day 2, Sam retired with a water pump issue while Josh, who had worked his way back up to 7th, crashed out on the final stage of the rally.
Breen promptly returned home from Belgium and took part in Sunday’s Ravens Rock Rally, organised by Carrick-On-Suir Motor Club. Just out for fun on his home event, Breen finished 9th overall in a borrowed Mark 2 Ford Escort. The event, a counting round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship was won by Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan in a Ford Focus World Rally Car. Kelly’s winning margin was 1 minute 13.9 seconds and the result strengthens his hold on the championship. Welsh driver Melvyn Evans finished 2nd overall while Kerry’s Alan Ring took the final place on the podium. Declan Gallagher and Ryan Moore finished 7th overall in their Toyota Starlet and were the top 2 wheel drive car while Dublin brothers Neil and Gerard Tohill won the Group N category in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
Modello Park played host to the clash of the British and Irish Rallycross Championships this weekend. Good weather and close racing kept the crowd entertained with Julian Godfrey winning Saturday’s final ahead of Kevin Proctor and Geoffrey Dolan. Dolan didn’t get a chance to build on his 3rd place finish on Sunday however, as a broken driveshaft sidelined the Donegal driver. In the highly competitive Stockhatch 8v class, Dan Dowling took the honours in his Citroen Saxo. Sunday’s racing saw the appearance of reigning British Rally Champion, Daniel McKenna. The Monaghan driver finished 4th in the specialised RX150 Buggy Final in a once off appearance.