"I knew he was there with me in spirit"- Craig Breen pays tribute to late friend after WRC podium achievement

Irish driver secured his first ever podium at a World Rally Championship event

Craig Breen

Craig Breen ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

For Ireland's Craig Breen, the achievement of getting on the podium for the first time in his World Rally Championship career is still sinking in.

The Waterford driver finished third at Rally Finland to make his mark.

"It's a red letter day in my career and still all a bit surreal, hard to believe. I'm still trying to take it all in what happened this weekend," he told KCLR of a momentous feat for Irish rally driving.

"It's something I'm hugely proud of. Lots of emotion. Probably a lot of people know my story. I've had, let's say, a tragic path that shaped my career from then on but to arrive at the end of this stage and to get to this milestone, it was a big thing for me."

In 2012, Breen mourned the passing of his co-driver and friend Gareth Roberts, after a tragic accident while competing at a rally in Sicily.

Breen has eloquently discussed the pain of losing his friend on his personal website, saying of Roberts, "You were my right hand; you were my view to the road up ahead. Your voice will always ring in my ear when I put on my helmet, I will never forget you. You were the BEST, and no one will ever come close. Have to continue this dream for us both."

Today, he told KCLR that "Gareth was by my side through all the difficult parts of my career so to not have him here was hard but at the same time, I knew he was there with me in spirit."

Listen to the full interview with KCLR's Kevin Regan below: