Circuit of Ireland ERC: Craig Breen forced to retire from second
|By David Evans||Saturday, April 19th 2014, 08:26 GMT|
Craig Breen's dream of a Circuit of Ireland victory has been dashed by engine problems on the opening Saturday stage.
The Peugeot 208 T16 driver started the second and final day of Britain's European Rally Championship round 12.6 seconds behind overnight leader Esapekka Lappi.
Breen was reported to have stopped on the way into this morning's first stage.
He started the first run at Bulls Brook on time, but then failed to emerge at the finish.
Lappi's lead has now mushroomed to 1m40s over Robert Barrable, but the Finn admitted he struggled to maintain focus after seeing his rival at the side of the road.
"Two or three kilometres into the stage, they were stopped at the side of the road," said Lappi. "The bonnet was open and I saw them adding water.
"We still have to keep good speed and keep the rhythm. It is a good situation [for me], but I have to go to the finish first."
If Lappi maintains his lead to the finish, he will move ahead of Breen to head the ERC standings.