A dramatic two days in the Rally Islas Canarias saw the number one Peugeot Rallye Academy crew of Craig Breen and Paul Nagle claim another second place which puts them in the immediate wake of Jan Kopecky in the European Championship standings.
The Spanish event saw Breen produce another display of his speed and hallmark consistency in spite of the first day’s delicate conditions and an early ten-second penalty after checking in two seconds late at a control following a late tyre choice.
Indeed, fickle weather made tyre calls particularly difficult on Day 1, but Irishmen Breen and Nagle kept up the fight against the higher-performing RRC cars and against drivers who have more experience of this event.
They were fast and consistent and posted top-three times on nearly every stage.
Breen didn’t miss a beat in the Saintéloc-run 207 and completed the opening leg in third place behind Kubica and Kopecky.
Saturday’s action was entirely dry and Breen kept up his effort to collect second overall after Kubica’s crash. The result takes him to second in the ERC’s provisional standings ahead of the all-gravel fourth round in the Azores from 25-27 April.
“We continue to learn and this rally was good for our experience" - Craig Breen
Breen told the press: “Paul and I functioned well together this weekend.
“I am very pleased with the result because second place means a good points haul.
“I think the set-up of the car was a little too aggressive during the early part of the rally, but we changed the balance for the second leg and it was much better after that.
"We continue to learn and this rally was good for our experience. I am very happy with the result.”
Final Rally Islas Canarias Positions:
1 J. Kopecky (Skoda)
2 C. Breen (Peugeot 207S2000) +1m52.4s
3 L. Monzon (MiniRRC) +3m18.9s
4 A. Aigner (Subaru) +6m50.8s
5 G. Bonnefis (Mégane) +8m31.0s
Next round: Azores (gravel), 25-27 April.