Craig Breen has won the S2000 World Rally Championship after his victory at the Rally de Espana today.
The Waterford driver finished 2 minutes and 5 seconds ahead of title rival PG Andersson to win his second world rally title in two years following his victory in the WRC Academy last year.
Breen and co-driver Paul Nagle started the event slowly on Friday in their Ford Fiesta S2000 but took the lead on Stage Three and at the end of Day One he led by over three minutes. With a sizeable lead established Breen knew a controlled drive would bring a victory and it’s a lead that the 22-year-old didn’t surrender across Saturday and Sunday.
The Motorsport Ireland Driver of the Year secured his fourth win of the season and his third in a row in the World Rally Championship after victories in at Rally GB and Rallye de France, coupled with a win at the first event of the season in Monte Carlo.
The victory is even more remarkable considering the tragedy that Breen has had to deal with this year. In June, Breen lost his co-driver and best friend Gareth Roberts, after a tragic accident while competing at a rally in Sicily.
An emotional Breen said at the finish; “It"s incredible, I can"t believe it…there"s so many things…I am so, so happy, I need to thank so many people, hundreds and thousands…I"m a kid and I can"t believe I"ve done it…"
Joe Corcoran, President of Motorsport Ireland said; “What Craig has achieved this year is nothing short of remarkable. Last year’s WRC Academy victory showed the world what he was capable of and he began this year where he left off last year with some great performances. Craig was then struck with tragedy in June and many thought it may be appropriate to step back from rallying but Craig channeled his emotions back into rallying in memory of his best friend and co-driver and this mental strength and determination coupled with his unbelievable talent has seen him become a World Champion again. Irish sport has witnessed an amazing story here today.”