Craig Breen fights off injury to undertake German test
Craig Breen will take part in World championship Rally Deutschland this week after all.
He has been given the all clear by doctors after a back injury sustained in a heavy landing forced him to withdraw from Rally Finland earlier in the month.
After being detained in hospital overnight in Finland he returned home to Waterford for further treatment but was expected to skip the German WRC round to concentrate on being fit for his No.1 priority, returning to the Peugeot Academy team for the European championship Barum Rally in the Czech Republic a week later.
But now Breen, the former World S2000 champion, will drive his privately owned Kel-Tech Engineering Ford Fiesta RS in Germany where he joins Kris Meeke, Sam Moffett, Marty McCormack and Alastair Fisher in the line up.
"I'm grateful to all those who have helped in my recovery since Finland, and although I have had success in Germany in the past I'm taking on a completely different challenge by using a WRC car this time," he said.
Breen made a hasty dash north on Friday evening after hearing of the Ulster Rally accident in which Timothy Cathcart was killed and his co-driver Dai Roberts injured. Roberts' younger brother Gareth was Breen's co-driver but died when they crashed during the Targa Florio Rally in Italy two years ago.
He visited Dai in hospital before travelling on to Germany, tweeting that he was "doing well". The Welshman remains in the Royal Victoria Hospital but is expected to make a full recovery.
Meanwhile, Timothy Cathcart's funeral took place at Monea near Enniskillen yesterday and was attended by hundreds of rally competitors and fans.
His father Ian, a former driver himself, said: "He was a fantastic, caring son with a unique character. He was a very mature, lively, outgoing and modest person and treated everyone the same.
"Timothy was a great rugby player and golfer, not just a good rally driver. It's just devastating, no words can explain."