Craig Breen
Craig Breen

YET another non-finish for Craig Breen in the FIA European Rally Championship, this time in the Azores in round five of the series.

The talented young Irish driver had led from the first special stage and had extended his lead to some 6.5 seconds but he was forced to stop with his works Peugeot, the 208 T16 was on fire.

He used a fire extinguisher but to no avail, the wiring loom was far beyond repair.

This left Bernardo Sousa to go on and win following a dramatic final-stage showdown.

Sousa driving a Ford Fiesta RRC, started the closing stage leading Breen’s teammate Kevin Abbring by 5.1s and the former Portuguese champion beat his Peugeot rival through the closing 21.30 kilometre stage by 1.1s to secure victory with a winning margin of 6.2s.

It was Sousa’s first victory in the ERC and makes him the fourth different winner from five rounds and it also marks a dramatic reversal of fortune after he and co-driver Hugo Magalhaes had to push their car for one kilometre to parc ferme when it broke down due to a sensor failure following the qualifying stage.

Dutchman Abbring finished second and was handed the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy for his efforts.