Looking across the car, Cándido Carrera could have been forgiven for taking a breath. Greeted by the Irish tricolor, he was staring at Craig Breen’s crash helmet.
In Portugal last weekend, Dani Sordo delivered on a promise he’d made to Jackie and Ray Breen at that most painful of days in Waterford last month.
He’d told Craig’s family that he wanted to have a helmet painted with half of Craig’s design and half of his own.
After securing second in Portugal, Sordo told DirtFish: “I promised to his mom at the funeral that I will do the helmet and she was happy.
“We had to do it really fast, but we got it prepared in time. Craig was with me on my crash helmet.”
There was more than that.
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“He was with us,” the Spaniard continued. “Craig was in the car with us.
“I don’t know, before the powerstage, I had Craig in my head, I don’t know why. Sometimes, I don’t know… you have the image.
“For sure I feel he was with us. It’s hard, but it’s like this.
“OK, the helmet was a special thing for this rally, but Craig will always be with me. Of course he will. I’m sure he’s watching now.”
Looking on, Breeny’s bright blue eyes would have been shining at the sight of his pal’s performance second time through Fafe.
Sordo’s story of that final-stage push started in Sweden, when Breen had turned on his own superstar performance to finish second.
“He was doing an amazing rally in Sweden,” said Sordo. “I called him after the first day and I said: ‘Now you need to push until the end – you can do it!’
“And, at the end of the rally, he said: ‘Now you have the pressure, I am fast again!’
“Now I need to say to him: ‘Sordo is back!’
“So, Craig, if you are watching from somewhere, you see I am back.
“And where I go, I will bring him with me all the rally.”
Dani Sordo. Legend. Forever.