WRC stars Breen and Fulton enjoy local Irish event

Hyundai pair fresh from starring on Rally Sweden become beginners on road rally and have "a proper bit of craic"


How was your Saturday night? Take away and movie? Out with friends? For Craig Breen, it was very much the latter.

A fortnight on from finishing second on the second round of the World Rally Championship, the Irishman very much saw Saturday night turn into Sunday morning.

It’s fair to say the Hyundai Motorsport star was the biggest name on the entry list for the County Cavan Navigation Trial, the opening event in the Cavan Motor Club Championship.

But Saturday night was more about the man alongside him. Co-driver James Fulton might have just stepped off the WRC podium, but the challenge of his local lanes was significant.

Which is why this pair of WRC rockstars were in the Beginners class.

“We’d thrown James into the deep end a little bit,” Breen told DirtFish. “We did Japan last year and then Sweden and we’d not had a lot of fun together really, not much craic.

“We looked at this event and realized we were both at home, so we just put the entry in. It wasn’t my first road rally – I did the Cilwendeg back in 2012. I only found out it was James’ first road rally on Saturday night.

“We were definitely the beginners in the Beginners class!”

The pair emerged from the 80-mile route through the middle of the Irish night with second in class.

I’d say 80% of the work in the car on these events is done by the co-driver. James done a fantastic job Craig Breen

It’s a very different runners-up spot from the one they scored in Umeå, but the smiles were just the same.

“That was some fun,” said Breen. “Honestly, this is just a brilliant way into the sport. For a relatively small amount of money, you and your co-driver are out there competing down some pretty mucky lanes and just having a proper bit of craic.

“I’d say 80% of the work in the car on these events is done by the co-driver. James for 70% of the route just before the start and he was straight into the map, plotting the route. But then they throw in these plot-and-bash sections where they give you [map] co-ordinates, but they add in some complications to try to catch you out.

“At one point James had the tracing paper out and was tracing the map through it – it was not easy.

“James done a fantastic job. He was really cool in the middle of it all, head down and bang on with the maps. It was great.

“I’ve absolutely loved it and I’ll definitely be back for another one – maybe I’ll even come back over for another crack at the Cilwendeg.”

A second second in as many weeks and a Saturday night to remember for Breen and Fulton.

Words:David Evans