For the first time this year Craig Breen did not claim a podium finish in an ERC event but his performance and fourth place finish on this year’s Tour de Corse emphasises the talent of the Peugeot Rally Academy driver.

Four fastest and three second fastest stage times on the eleven-stage ultra-technical tarmac rally illustrates the outright speed of the Irish man.

At the finish Breen said: “We really pushed to gain that podium place on the final stage but it wasn’t to be.

“What I’m most happy about is we’ve shown extremely good speed here this weekend.

"We were one of the stronger forces on day one and but for our puncture on stage four it could have been a different story."

“I’ve got a brief to gain experience this year and this is a rally I was relatively familiar with so we could push a little. This is the first year of a long programme and I’m very happy.”

For Breen’s outstanding performance over the two days he was awarded the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy ERC General Co-ordinator Jean-Pierre Nicolas, who along with Eurosport Events’ Director of Editorial Gilbert Roy and Colin’s father, Jimmy McRae, forms the judging panel, explained why Breen had been chosen.

“Craig, a driver who is just 23-years-old, was fast from the beginning of this rally and it’s not often that a driver without a Mediterranean background produces this kind of performance,” said Nicolas. “But this was a standout performance by Craig and it’s with very great pleasure that we present this award to him.”

Receiving the award Craig said “I am thrilled to receive this award. It’s a very good feeling after a difficult weekend for me. This is my second time to win this award and I’m honoured to receive it.”