Irish rally driver Craig Breen has won the World Rally Championship Academy title and a prize of €500,000 as the series went down to the very last stage on Rally GB.

The 21-year-old from Waterford won five of the six stages on day three of the event as championship leader Egon Kaur won the opening stage in his Fiesta.

With one stage to go Kaur lead Breen 111 points to 110, but Breen won the last stage to take a bonus point and as a result not only won the Academy Class on Rally GB but the series as well on countback of fastest stages.

Breen was understandably delighted after the victory; "It's an amazing feeling," he said. "I know I was the quickest driver over the whole series so to win is just brilliant."

Alex Sinclair, Chief Executive of Motorsport Ireland, was first to congratulate Breen; "This is a fantastic occasion for Craig, his team and for Irish motorsport," he insisted.

"We knew that Craig had the talent to compete at World level and this has shown everyone that he has the potential to go on and become a full World Rally Champion.

"This is just the start of what will be a very exciting career for Craig and for Irish motorsport."

Yesterday Sebastien Loeb claimed an unprecedented eighth successive world rally championship fter closest rival Mikko Hirvonen's title hopes were dashed at the Wales Rally GB.

Hirvonen damaged the radiator on his Ford Fiesta after striking a submerged branch on the seventh stage.

With Hirvonen forced to pull out Loeb was assured of the 2011 title.