Craig Breen’s funeral mass drew hundreds of mourners to Sacred Heart Church in County Waterford.
The 33-year-old died following a crash on Thursday while preparing for the World Rally Championship's Croatia Rally.
Mr Breen’s sister, Kellie, told the congregation he had loved cars from an early age.
“He gravitated towards anyone who smelled of oil and had an early love for our neighbour John who fixed cars in his garage,” she said.
“This love became hilariously apparent when my Mam went to collect him from playschool one day around Valentine's Day and all the little boys and girls arrived out with their handmade hearts for their Mams, the teacher quickly pulled my mother aside to say, ‘Jackie, I’m so sorry but Craig insisted on dedicating this one to John Purcell [the race car driver].’”
To applause, Kellie said the family was extremely proud of all he had achieved.
“He’d hate to see tears shed on his behalf,” she said.
“He’d much rather see people living good times [and] sharing fond memories.
“Craig is lucky enough to have had a one in a million story where he will live on in his legacy, so please keep his spirit alive for all of us.
“His school yearbook quote is that he wanted to make people proud. Well, Craig, I can safely say - mission accomplished.”
Mr Breen is survived by Kellie and his parents, Ray and Jackie.
Main image: Craig Breen and his co-driver Scott Martin celebrate winning.