IN CIR­CUIT OF IRE­LAND AT­TACK Event win­ner to re­turn with R5 Citroen

Motor Sport News - - Front Page - By David Evans Pho­tos:, mck­lein-im­age­

Craig Breen will re­turn to de­fend his 2015 Cir­cuit of Ire­land win fol­low­ing a last-minute deal for him to drive a Citroen DS 3 R5.

The Abu Dhabi To­tal World Rally Team driver was an­nounced at the top of ar­guably the strong­est Cir­cuit en­try list ever on Mon­day. He and co-driver Scott Martin will use a David Greer Mo­tor­sport car, test­ing it early in the week of the Belfast-based rally.

“I’m de­lighted to be do­ing the event,” Breen told MN. “I’ll be hon­est, I didn’t think there was much chance, but Bobby [Wil­lis, event di­rec­tor] re­ally spurred me on to get it sorted – not that I needed too much en­cour­age­ment!”

Breen’s DGM deal came to­gether late last week.

“It was all very last minute,” he said, “but the main thing is that we’re do­ing it. There’s a whole load of peo­ple I have to thank for get­ting me to the start line. I hon­estly don’t think you’d fit them all in MN and I might for­get the odd one, so it’s best I don’t start list­ing them. Suf­fice to say, I wouldn’t be on an event that means so much to me with­out them.”

Breen won last year’s Cir­cuit and will now look to sur­pass his hero Frank Meagher by tak­ing back-to-back wins on Ire­land’s most fa­mous rally.

“It’s quite ironic that we’re us­ing one of David Greer’s cars,” said Breen, “David fin­ished se­cond to Frank when he won the Cir­cuit in 1992.

“This time around it is def­i­nitely go­ing to be an even big­ger task. Last year we had the Euro­pean Rally Cham­pi­onship com­peti­tors and guys like Robert Barrable and Alas­tair Fisher to worry about – this time around we’ve got three se­ries (ERC, Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship and Ir­ish Tar­mac Cham­pi­onship) con­verg­ing and those cham­pi­onships are all at the top of their game and bring­ing some se­ri­ous com­pe­ti­tion.”

Thirty-eight R5 cars are listed so far on the en­try list for the April 7-9 event.

“That’s more cars with a the­o­ret­i­cal chance to win a rally than I can ever re­mem­ber be­fore,” added Breen. “It’s a mas­sive en­try and there’s loads of qual­ity in it. I think Elfyn’s [Evans] has to be the bench­mark. He’s had a very strong start to the sea­son and he comes in on the back of a round one win in the BRC. Then there’s Keith Cronin: this will be the first time he and I have crossed paths in a while and I think there’s go­ing to be a few eyes on that fight.”

While Breen will be reg­is­ter­ing for the Euro­pean Rally Cham­pi­onship el­e­ment of the event, he says that he’s un­likely to sign up for BRC points also.

“I haven’t re­ally thought much about that [BRC points],” Breen said, “but given that I can’t re­ally see my­self do­ing any more BRC rounds this year, it would seem a bit un­fair to po­ten­tially take points away from other [BRC] driv­ers.

“To be hon­est, I just want to get there and com­pete. Don’t get me wrong, I’m des­per­ate to win the Cir­cuit again, but this event means so much to me, I’m over the moon just to be on the start line again.”

Event di­rec­tor Wil­lis added: “As you can imag­ine, with a ca­pac­ity en­try for the Cir­cuit

Breen will han­dle an R5 DS 3 on the Cir­cuit Breen landed 2015 win Jkkb kjbk jkkb jkbk jkb kjkb kjk jkk k Breen is over­joyed to be re­turn­ing to Cir­cuit

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