WIN! A BEHIND-THE-SCENES DAY AT DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB
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.