Waterford’s Craig Breen has established a sizeable lead after the first day of Rally de Espana as he looks to take the S2000 World Rally Championship title this weekend.

Breen began the day two points ahead of second placed PG Andersson on the Championship leaderboard, knowing that if he could finish ahead of the Swede he would be World Champion for the second successive year in the World Rally Championship, having won the WRC Academy in 2011.

The Motorsport Ireland Driver of the Year started slowly today in what were extremely wet conditions in Spain and he trailed Andersson by 3.5 seconds after Stage One.

Breen lost more time on Stage Two with the Swedish driver establishing a 16.2 second lead.

However the Waterford driver didn’t panic and hit back in style on Stage Three finishing nearly a minute and a half faster that Andersson to take the lead by 1 minute and 9 seconds.

The Irishman held steady on stage four with Andersson clawing back some time but on stage five the Swedish driver hit a bank, which cost him nearly two minutes and increased the 22-year-old’s lead to over three minutes.

Breen was fastest again on the last stage of the day in Salou and he now leads by 3 minutes and 41.5 seconds from his title rival Andersson going into Day Two tomorrow.

There will be another six stages tomorrow with the final six stages of the Rally de Espana taking place on Sunday.