Sunday, 5 April 2015

Rally - Circuit of Ireland

By winning the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally, Craig Breen and Scott Martin have taken the lead of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship.

Despite an intermittent turbo problem in his Peugeot 208 T16, Breen was swapping the lead with Robert Barrable until the Ford Fiesta R5 driver crashed out of the lead three stages from the end when he skidded over a bank on a slippery left hand corner.

Polish driver Kajetan Kajetanowicz also pushed Breen hard in his LOTOS Rally Team Fiesta R5. He finished just 6.4s behind in second place after Breen lost time with an overshoot and a stall on the penultimate stage.

Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton were holding seventh place in their Ford Fiesta S2000, when the power steering pumped failed and put them out after SS15, while Jonny Greer and Kirsty Riddick retired their Citroën DS3 R5 at the end of the final stage after a fire in the engine bay losing out on sixth place.

But what a weekend for the ‘lucky white heather club’. It wasn’t just Thorburn and Beaton who hit the buffers, Fergus Barlow and Alistair MacCrone were classified as non-finishers - despite the fact that they scored times on all 18 stages! Summat up there then!

In the National event, Jim McRae and Ian Grindrod failed to finish in their Vauxhall Firenza (with an overheating problem) as did Ross Hunter and Josh Davison in the Peugeot 205. Ross Marshall and Dave Robson also failed to finish in their Escort as did Kieran O'Kane and Matt Reid in the Opel Ascona.

Perhaps what’s needed is that all Scottish crews should visit the Blarney Stone before taking part in any rally over there and give the stone a big wet, whisky flavoured smacker! All that effort and nothing to show for it.

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