Craig Breen heads entries for National Rally season opener

Craig Breen
Craig Breen

Craig Breen, winner of the last round of the FIA European Rally Championship in Latvia, is amongst the entries on Sunday for the opening round of the National Rally Championship, based at the Abbeyleix Manor House Hotel.

He will not be behind the wheel of his winning Peugeot but will step back in time to compete in a Ford Escort.

Defending National champion, Donegal’s Declan Boyle, is also part of the superb entry in his S12B Subaru WRC. He made a strong start to last season’s championship with wins in the opening two rounds; however, he missed round three and then failed to score points again until round six in Galway where he took maximum points.  

Donagh Kelly in a Ford Focus WRC has shown an impressive turn of speed in the last 12 months and will be ready for the challenge and so too will Fermanagh’s Garry Jennings (S12B Subaru WRC) and Armagh’s Darren Gass.

Scrutiny takes place tomorrow afternoon at Oliver Stanley’s Service Station, Cork Road, Durrow.

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and their presence in Abbeyleix is a huge boost for both the Birr Motor Club and the organisers of the Triton Showers series.  

Gass has intimated that he will contest the opening half of the Triton Showers campaign and then review the situation.  There is no doubt that he will be a serious contender for success.

Roy White is the only non-WRC car in the top ten; he has finished in the top three of the National series for the past two seasons.  Last year he came agonisingly close to winning the Championship and only lost out to Declan Boyle by a mere one point.  Despite much speculation, he will continue to use his 2.4 litre engined MG ZR. 

Former National Champion Peadar Hurson is also on the star-studded list, the Warrenpoint driver who won the title in an Opel Ascona 400 will compete in a Subaru WRC.

Kevin Barrett occupies the number seven berth in his S14 Subaru WRC and will be hoping that his championship trail begins well on Sunday.  He had the perfect shakedown in Kirkistown last weekend and finished third in the Eurocables Rally.  

The rally will be based at the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel; scrutiny takes place tomorrow afternoon at Oliver Stanley’s Service Station, Cork Road, Durrow.

Meanwhile lack of entries has forced the cancellation of the kart meeting which was to have been held at Kirkistown circuit tomorrow.