PICTURES: Craig Breen victorious in Circuit of Ireland Rally

Craig Breen at the wheel of a Peugeot 208 T16 kept the opposition at bay to win the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally and in doing so has taken the lead of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship.

The 25-year old Irish driver drove brilliantly to keep himself in contention as his Peugeot suffered a mysterious and intermittent turbo problem.

Craig Breen and Scott Martin, winners of the 2015 Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally

Craig Breen and Scott Martin, winners of the 2015 Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally

However, he swapped the lead with fellow Irish driver Robert Barrable, but the Ford Fiesta R5 driver crashed out of the lead three stages from the end in a bitter end to a great drive.

“Winning the Circuit of Ireland Rally means more than anything else in the world to me, to have my name on the same trophy as my hero Frank Meagher is something really special,” said Breen at he finish in Belfast.

Breen’s win was not without drama after he had an overshoot and stalled twice on the last stage, but his co-driver kept his head together and they held on for a popular victory.