Belfast Telegraph

Craig Breen surrenders title lead after another non-finish

By Staff Reporter

Craig Breen has lost the lead in the European rally championship after a late retirement in Estonia.

The Circuit of Ireland winner from Waterford had said he was prepared to "play the long game" and look for a top-three finish to protect his 20-point lead on the "crazy fast" gravel stages.

And Breen was on course for third place going into the penultimate stage yesterday when the engine of his Peugeot 208 T16 failed.

"Towards the end of stage 14, we started to lose oil pressure - something happened inside the engine and there is nothing we can do about it," said Breen, who has now suffered two non-finishes in a row.

"We could have finished third behind Kajto (Kajetan Kajetanowicz) which would have been good for the championship. We have to regroup for the Barum Rally next month."

Kajetanowicz takes over the championship lead, five points ahead of Breen, but the Pole, in his R5 Ford Fiesta, was beaten into second by Russian Alexey Lukyanuk in a production Mitsubishi Evo X.

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