Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
©INPHO/Presseye/Mervyn McClelland Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts in the Peugeot 207 S2000 Rally in Belfast.
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Breen nears World Rally Championship crown after establishing huge lead in Spain
The Waterford native could clinch the S2000 title this weekend after a good start at Rally de Espana

CRAIG BREEN HAS established a sizeable lead today after the first day of Rally de Espana as he looks to take the S2000 World Rally Championship title this weekend.

The Waterford driver began the day two points ahead of second placed PG Andersson on the championship leaderboard.

He also began with the knowledge that finishing ahead of the Swede would confirm him as champion for the second successive year, having won the WRC Academy in 2011.

Breen started slowly in what were extremely wet conditions in Spain and trailed Andersson by 3.5 seconds after Stage One.  He lost more time on Stage Two with the Swedish driver establishing a 16.2 second lead.

The setback did little to panic Breen and he hit back in style on Stage Three finishing nearly a minute and a half faster than Andersson to lead by over a minute.

He held steady on Stage Four with Andersson clawing back some time. The Swede struck a bank on Stage Five, which cost him nearly two minutes and increased the Irishman’s lead to over three minutes.

The 22-year-old was fastest again on the last stage of the day in Salou and now leads by 3 minutes and 41.5 seconds from his title rival going into day two.

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

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