Thierry Neuville has wasted no time in confirming his intention to tackle next year’s Raven’s Rock Rally, and he’ll be doing it with Craig Breen’s close friend Patrick ‘Paddy’ Croke co-driving.
DirtFish outlined plans for a memorial event to the Irish star on Monday and Breen’s Hyundai team-mate said he and Paddy would be competing in Waterford.
“Craig was a very special person for all of us,” Neuville told DirtFish. “When I came to the funeral I was sitting with his parents, with Ray and Jackie and with his family, and I came from there understanding that we have to make the most from life and we have to remember what a great person Craig was.
“When James [Coleman, Breen’s friend and manager] talked about this idea of this rally, I wanted to do it straightaway. And I wanted to do it with Patrick [Croke]. Craig introduced us to this incredible guy, this great friend of his, and I want to drive with Craig in my mind and his friend next to me.”
Predictably, Paddy’s keen too. He finished on the Raven’s Rock Rally podium alongside Breen in 2017 when the pair competed aboard a Ford Escort Mk2.
“I couldn’t believe it when Thierry asked me,” Paddy said. “He came to me and he said: ‘Me and you, we will do this rally next year in memory of Craig.’
“Fair play to Thierry for doing this – we know they all have such a busy life. It will be amazing. I’ve some work to do to get myself fit, but it’s something I’m really looking forward to.
“What car? I don’t know, it could be the Hyundai Rally1 car or I heard it could be the BMW M3. The chance to sit alongside Thierry Neuville… it doesn’t come much more special than that and I know our man will be looking down on me.”