European rally weekend: Wins for Breen, Neubauer, Ciamin...
During a free time between major intercontinental and regional rally championships (WRC or ERC), several great national rally championships have their events this weekend all over Europe – British and Irish Tarmac championships, French Tarmac championship, Austrian and Swiss championships, Belgian championship…
The most notable was a victory of Craig Breen at the 41st West Cork Rally, that served as round both for the British Rally Championship and Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. The former Citroen factory driver was driving a Ford Fiesta R5, navigated by Paul Nagle, and clinched a victory with a 22.sec advantage over Alastair Fisher in another Fiesta. Tom Cave finished third in a Hyundai i20 R5.
Another former WRC driver participated in the event as a guest. Mikko Hirvonen was driving a Ford Escort MkII, finishing in 16th place.
The Austrian Hermann Neubauer clinched his second win in just two weeks. Following his recent win at Rally Kumrovec in Croatia, he won 8th Rebenland Rallye, the second round of the Austrian rally championship. Neubauer was driving the #2 Ford Fiesta R5, sharing a car with navigator Bernhard Ettel.
Julian Wagner and Anne Katharina Stein finished second in the #1 Škoda Fabia R5, 25.3 seconds behind the winners. Günther Knobloch and Jürgen Rausch finished third in a Škoda Fabia R5, taking the final podium spot on the last special stage by defeating Hungarians Kristof Klausz and Botond Csanyi.
Nicolas Ciamin is the winner of the 59th Rallye Le Touquet – Pas de Calais, the opening round of the French tarmac rally championship. Ciamin was driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, navigated by Yannick Roche.
In the close fight for the victory, Ciamin defeated Quentin Gilbert in another VW Polo GTI R5 by 13.7 seconds and Yoann Bonato in a Citroen C3 R5 by 18.6 seconds. Former Citroen WRC driver Stephane Lefebvre finished fourth in a Citroen C3 R5.
The 5th Herock Spa Rally was the second round of the Belgian rally championship. The victory went to Cedric Cherain in a Škoda Fabia R5. In Switzerland, the 30th Rallye National Pays du Gier took place at Saint-Chamond as the opening round of the championship. The winner was Ivan Ballinari in a Škoda Fabia R5.