Irish driver Craig Breen is seventh overall at the end of the opening day of the ERC Lotos Rally, trailing leader Bryan Bouffier by just over two minutes.

After a ten-week summer break and taking on this event with a new co-driver (Lara Vanneste, Belgium), Breen struggled all day to get a rhythm over the gravel stages based in the Masurian Lake district.

At the end of this morning’s loop of three stages Breen was placed seventh overall, 47.2 seconds off pacesetter Bouffier.

The Peugeot driver fared the same over the afternoon loop and in the afternoon service said: “My current position is not representative of where I should be or the amount of work I’ve put in pre the event.”

On the final 25km evening stage Breen’s bad fortune continued when he picked up a puncture restricting his progress.

As a result of the deflating tyre, he lost over a minute along on that stage.

Tomorrow's racing sees the final six stages again all run on gravel.