Breen makes fast start in pursuit of his fourth win
Craig Breen made a flying start to the Rally du Valais, the final round of this year's European championship, setting fastest times on each of the first three stages to lead by 13 seconds at the end of the opening leg.
Circuit of Ireland winner Breen (pictured) has already lost the European title to Kajetan Kajetowicz but is determined to finish in style with a fourth win to his credit - Kajto has three - and dominated the first day of the Swiss event.
He was fastest in qualifying in his Peugeot and went on to record three quickest times despite having to cope with mist in the valleys between the mountains.
He got a big break early on when Bryan Bouffier, a Monte Carlo Rally winner, retired on the first stage after smashing a wheel on his Peugeot.
Olivier Burri, an eight-time Valais winner, was second in his Citroen with Russian Alexey Lukyanuk third in his Ford Fiesta.
Breen was robbed of victory when a storm washed out the final group of stages on the Acropolis Rally this month.