It was the weekend around which Craig Breen’s world turned. This weekend, Waterford will turn around Craig Breen.
Ireland’s World Rally Championship star will be at the forefront of everybody’s minds at Sunday’s Raven’s Rock Rally. But how best to remember Breen on his local event, one he simply adored?
A 2.5-liter Millington Diamond engine is a good place to start. TV presenter Mike Chen and Irish media genius Sean Hassett sitting behind it, the perfect foil.
Chen tells the story.
“I think everybody knows how much Raven’s Rock meant to Craig,” he told DirtFish. “There’s no doubt Sunday will be an emotional day for everybody, but we couldn’t let it pass without doing something special to remember him.”
But what? It had to be something that would make Breeny smile. And the prospect of Chenny at the wheel being told to where to go by his own PR man would certainly have ticked that box.
“He’ll be up there laughing his head off,” said Chen. “He’ll be p****** himself at the thought of Sean and I doing his rally.”
It was another one of Breen’s closest friends – Andy Fanning – who came up with the idea of them competing.
He’ll be laughing his laugh, telling us to crack on and take her flat to the square rightMike Chen
“Sean and I talked about doing the rally,” said Chen, “and immediately Andy said we had to use his car. That’s how we’ve ended up on the entry list with this sensational Škoda Fabia S2500.
“It’s an honor and I’m so grateful to be driving Andy’s car – and especially with the livery we’ve come up with for it – but this is all about Craig. We’re doing this in the spirit of Craig and in Craig’s spirit we’ll be doing it for the craic.
“We want people to come and get a picture of the car; that’s the approach on the stages: we’re going to be taking it steady enough to make sure everybody gets a good look at her! Seriously, this is a tribute to our great mate, our brother Craig.
“If you’re around Ireland on Sunday, you have to come to Waterford. Come and share some memories, some stories. Craig loved this rally and this rally will show the love for Craig. We think about him every day and that’s never going to change and I’ve no doubt he’ll be with us in the car on Sunday.
“He’ll be laughing his laugh, telling us to crack on and take her flat to the square right.”
Born and brought up around Waterford, Raven’s Rock has always been the Breen family’s local event. Both Craig and his father Ray are previous winners.
Chen has no designs on joining them on that prestigious list on Sunday.
“Like I said, this is all about Craig,” said Chen. “It’s another chance to celebrate what an amazing fella he’ll always be to so many of us.”
Stay tuned to DirtFish for the most anticipated livery launch on Friday.