European Rally Championship
Craig Breen and Paul Nagle got their European Rally Championship bid off to a better than expected start after finishing fourth on last weekend’s Rally di Roma Capital.
As well as their World Championship commitments with Hyundai, the Irish team is also contesting the ERC with MRF Tyres in a Hyundai i20 R5.
Their prime focus is developing the Indian tyre brand’s products for motorsport use and they were not expected to competitive against their Pirelli shod rivals.
They finished sixth after Saturday’s opening leg but, following a tight battle with four-time Romanian rally champion Simone Tempestini in a Skoda Fabia. Breen and Nagle eventually finished 1.3 seconds ahead of their rival to claim and unexpected fourth sport.
“To be completely honest we are dealing with tyres that are so new in our development. We are competing against tyres with years and years of development and these are new. Fair play, the tyres have done well. We have work to do but the tyres have been great and we should feel happy with the progress,” said Breen.
Italian Job – part two
Tralee based co-driver Mark Kane will tackle the Rally di Alba in Italy this weekend alongside Phillip Allen.
The Italian rally is organised by the home motor club of Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo who has used his international influence to attract a record of drivers associated with the brand to his home event.
Allen and Kane are front-runners in the Northern Ireland Rally Championship in their Hyundai i20 R5.
Several other Irish Hyundai drivers including Craig Breen, Callum Devine, Josh McErlean and Josh Moffett are entered in an event that also includes WRC stars Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville in World Rally Cars.
Versions of this article were published in The Kerryman and the Killarney Advertiser. Kerry Motorsport News is the motorsport content provider to both weekly titles.