Craig Breen's bid to reign in Europe hits rough start
Craig Breen said he was "gutted" after making a disastrous start to his European rally championship campaign, crashing off the road on the opening stage of the first round in Austria.
Breen, who was third in the series last year, was caught out in the difficult, snowy conditions at the start of the Janner Rally, his Peugeot Academy 208 T16 sliding slowly off the road and becoming lodged on a snowbank.
"The conditions were pretty tricky with heavy snow falling but it was just a 10kph accident," said former World S2000 champion Breen.
"I'm gutted to go out on the first stage but I've got to put it to the back of my mind and we'll come back under the super rally rule."
The opening leg was dominated by Poland's Kajetan Kajetanowicz, who set fastest times on all of the first eight stages in his R5 Ford Fiesta to lead Frenchman Robert Consani by nearly three minutes.
Czech driver Jaromir Tarabus was a further two minutes back in third in his S2000 Skoda.