It would have been Craig Breen’s dream to see the World Rally Championship assemble in Waterford and that’s precisely what the Irishman’s friend James Coleman is working on for next year.
Coleman is the driving force behind the Raven’s Rock Rally and he’s aiming to bring the world’s best to the Breen backyard next season.
It was Coleman who worked with Mike Chen and Sean Hassett to deliver their tribute drive to Breen on this year’s Ravens Rock. Next year, he wants the world to remember the man who carried the Irish flag to the very top of the world championship.
Coleman explained his plans to DirtFish, saying: “At the time of Craig’s funeral all the WRC drivers were over and, obviously, it was a very emotional time – Craig was loved as much as a human being as he was a driver. That was the following he had.
“I spoke to Thierry [Neuville] and to Ott [Tänak] and several drivers and asked if we put on an event next year, did they think they could convince the teams to bring cars. As well as that we’d look to bring 10 or 12 World Rally Cars and, maybe, 50 other invited drivers.
“Working with the Breen family, we would love to put on some sort of event run out of Waterford and in the local region in memory of Craig.
“Obviously, this was at the time, but they all said yes, it’s the least they could do and they would love to do it. We’re now going to start planning for that and talking to the teams and seeing what they can do. Obviously, we have to look at calendars, but we’ve got eight months to put this thing together.”
As well as being great friends with Breen, Coleman worked closely as his manager for more than a decade – a time when he worked with all factory teams in the world championship.
“We’ll do what we can,” he added, “we’ll talk to everybody and see what comes. Look, this is still a very emotional time – everything is still raw. If you know what I mean, we’re feeling sorry for ourselves that we don’t have Craig with us now. An event like this would be a very special way to remember him.”