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FST: Breen wins the Donegal

Craig Breen took the glory on the Donegal International Rally last weekend, round four of the 2009 Fiesta SportTrophy (FST) Ireland.

Breen started the Letterkenny-based event by setting some impressive times and he emerged from the opening test seven seconds quicker than his closest rival. He then maintained that pace and built a good lead.

As such the 18-year-old was able to relax somewhat in the afternoon, en-route to his fifth FST win in a row, to add to his successes on the Circuit of Ireland (FST IE), the Pirelli Rally (FST UK), the Rally de Portugal (FSTi) and Rally of the Lakes (FST IE).

Breen now leads the Irish series by 45 points - with no drop scores included - and so as long he scores well on the Ulster at the end of August he is well on the way to securing the FST Ireland crown.

"I am extremely happy with the result," said the Waterford man, who had a new co-driver for the Donegal in the shape of Kirsty Riddick. "This is my fifth FST event win in a row and it's great, my aim now is to just keep it going.

"I really enjoyed the stages and pushed very hard in the morning, which paid off. It is a shame that Mark [Donnelly] retired as he was pushing me hard again, but to be fair to all the crews the pace was level throughout and incredibly quick.

"Hopefully Ulster will be a case of securing some points to help me clinch the title but it is by no means over yet!"

Shane Buckley meanwhile ended up 'best of the rest'. He was off the pace on the opening test, but bounced back, setting two fastest times and eventually finishing 36.5 seconds off P1.

Robbie Barrable took the final spot on the podium after a steady and quick run throughout the day, while Stephen Wright was fourth - his first points finish of the year after three DNFs - followed by Paul Quinn and Declan Leonard, the latter making his FST debut, and rounding out the top six.

Garrett Loughran was the only other classified finisher, as Mark Donnelly and Desi Henry both retired. Donnelly had a gear cable problem, while Henry suffered a clutch failure in SS7.

The Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland now continues with the Ulster International Rally, which runs from August 21-22.

Prior to that however, there is the RSAC Scottish Rally, the next round of the FST UK series, where Breen, Donnelly and Barrable will all be in action.



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Craig Breen. [Pic credit: Trevor McGrath / www.rallyprint.com]
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