Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Craig Breen. It’s Craig Breen folks! It’s the fella from Water­ford that we all love to love. It’s Craig Breen.

Thank you Yves Mat­ton. Thank you for see­ing past the French­ness of Ver­sailles and hav­ing the vi­sion to ap­pre­ci­ate the tal­ent at the Emer­ald Isle’s north and south.

Hon­estly, I’m still pinch­ing my­self – lord alone knows how Craig and Scott Martin are feel­ing. But, let’s be hon­est, those boys de­serve it. Martin’s tal­ents as one of the world’s finest co-driv­ers has fi­nally been re­warded with a re­turn to full-time World Rally Cham­pi­onship em­ploy­ment. And Breen? Af­ter ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pened to the fella from Ire­land, no­body would have de­nied him a shot.

But, let’s be hon­est, af­ter a cou­ple of sea­sons in a snot­ter of a Peu­geot (sorry, my friends from the bluer side of Paris, but good as your 2008 and 3008s might be in the desert – that 208 re­ally wasn’t wor­thy of the T16 badge), a two-year deal at the top of the tree might have been stretch­ing it a bit.

Not now though. Take your sym­pa­thy vote and shove it where the sun don’t shine. This boy’s in be­cause he’s quick enough, tal­ented enough and brave enough. End of.

I’ll ad­mit, there were times when I gen­uinely wor­ried for Craig (out­side of the ob­vi­ous mo­ments, of course), like when he turned his hand to work­ing as a ra­dio re­porter for WRC Live. Or when he was singing songs to Colin Clark at the end of stages. Or when he went back to his roots to drive his lo­cal event in an RS1800. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have wor­ried. Craig’s Craig. You can take the man out of Ir­ish ral­ly­ing, but thank­fully you’ll never take Ir­ish ral­ly­ing out of this man.

When Breen scored that podium in Fin­land, he forced the world to sit up and take no­tice. And he did it on roads out of which he­roes are cre­ated and le­gend forged. That Sun­day last sum­mer, he fi­nally looked com­fort­able at world ral­ly­ing’s top ta­ble.

Good for you boys. And good for your fam­ily and friends, wher­ever they are.

Just be­fore I go, once point of or­der raised by none other than Mr P Mills of New­town.

I men­tioned a cou­ple of weeks ago that no Brit had scored a world cham­pi­onship hat-trick since Colin Mcrae in 2001. Mr Mills rightly pointed out how wrong I was. He did just that along­side Pet­ter Sol­berg in 2004 (Ja­pan, GB and Italy). Sorry Phil.

Breen has even turned his hand to broad­casts

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