Super 2000 World Rally Champion Craig Breen has finished in third position at Rallye du Var, France.

Breen went into the final day of the race in sixth but only trailed Charles Zuccarelli by 38 seconds.

The Waterford man had reduced the deficit to just 11.1 seconds after this morning’s first stage, before race leader Robert Kubica crashed out in the penultimate stage.

On the final 32km stage, Breen pulled out all the stops, and with his second fastest stage time in succession, managed to overhaul a 35-second deficit over Gillies Nantet to claim third overall.

Speaking after the race, Breen said: "I’m really delighted, this has been a hectic rally and I’m thrilled to finish third and get on the podium.

"We knew this morning that fourth was possible, so we decided to for it. I’m sorry for Robert (Kubica); he had a great drive all weekend."

He added: “At one point yesterday I was down in 20th position, but apart from the punctures I’ve been really happy with my speed.

"Setting the fastest time on stage 11 this morning was great and then on the final stage we still had to push and it worked, it’s been a fantastic rally. I want to thank all the Sainteloc team, the 207 (Peugeot) has been great.

"I’ve really enjoyed my time all year with the team and have learned a huge amount. It’s ideal to finish the year here in France. I began the season just up the road on the Monte (Rallye Monte Carlo) in January and Rallye du Var bookends another big season for me.”