Craig Breen's co-driver Gareth Roberts dies in Targa Florio crash

British co-driver Gareth Roberts has been killed in an accident on the Targa Florio Rally, round five of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge

Craig Breen's co-driver Gareth Roberts dies in Targa Florio crash

Roberts, sharing a Peugeot 207 S2000 with Irishman Craig Breen, died when their car impacted with a guardrail on the eighth stage of the all-asphalt event, near Palermo in Sicily. Breen was unhurt in the accident.

The accident took place just after the eighth kilometre of the Cefalu stage on a left-hand bend, striking the guardrail on the right hand side in an accident that the rally organisers described as being similar to that which Robert Kubica suffered in Italy last year.

At the time, Breen and Roberts were lying sixth overall. They were driving a Peugeot run by the Italian HRT squad in a one-off outing before being due to rejoin their regular Sainteloc team for the Ypres Rally next weekend.

The event was immediately abandoned, with Skoda's Jan Kopecky expected to be declared the winner.

Roberts, who was 24 and from Wales, trained as an electrician. He began competing in 2004 and achieved considerable success in the one-make Fiesta SportTrophy series. He formed his formidable partnership with Breen for the start of the 2009 season, which included the pair winning the inaugural FIA World Rally Championship Academy Cup in 2011.

This year, they were embarking on a partial IRC campaign, having finished fifth on the Circuit of Ireland and sixth on the Tour of Corsica, and also chasing the Super 2000 WRC title.

IRC manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas said: "It's a very sad accident that reminds us that motorsport is dangerous. Accidents can affect both driver and co-driver in rallying, and sadly, more often than not it is the co-driver who suffers - as we saw in 2005 on Rally Great Britain when Michael Park was killed.

"The death of a 24-year-old young man at the start of a fantastic career is always a tragedy. At this terrible time, I'm thinking very much of Gareth's family."

shares
comments
Andreas Mikkelsen leads after day one of Targa Florio

Previous article

Andreas Mikkelsen leads after day one of Targa Florio

Next article

Guardrail penetrated cockpit of Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts' car

Guardrail penetrated cockpit of Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts' car
Load comments
Ireland deserves a WRC round Plus

Ireland deserves a WRC round

Drivers are in accordance: Ireland should be in the World Rally Championship. DAVID EVANS followed the Circuit of Ireland and was left with no doubt that the drivers are right

ERC
Apr 23, 2014
Kubica's rally to recovery Plus

Kubica's rally to recovery

Robert Kubica's rally speed is obviously there - in abundance - but he's got to stop crashing. Charles Bradley went to the Azores to get the lowdown on the ex-F1 star's comeback trail

ERC
May 3, 2013
Why Kubica can win on ERC debut Plus

Why Kubica can win on ERC debut

Former GP winner Robert Kubica makes his international comeback this week in the Canaries Rally. And David Evans reckons he'll win aboard a Citroen DS3 RRC

ERC
Mar 21, 2013
Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old Plus

Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old

As the IRC to ERC transformation takes effect in Austria, David Evans is excited that the IRC's promotional strengths will carry over - but still wishes the WRC could get some of that magic

ERC
Jan 3, 2013
Farewell IRC, long live ERC Plus

Farewell IRC, long live ERC

As the Intercontinental Rally Challenge prepares for its swansong in Cyprus, David Evans recalls the shortlived series' heyday - and looks ahead to its European successor

ERC
Nov 1, 2012
The 2011 IRC season review Plus

The 2011 IRC season review

The fifth Intercontinental Rally Challenge was the best yet, and it was Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen who emerged as champion from a tense five-way shootout at the season finale. Matt Beer reviews the season

ERC
Nov 22, 2011
Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally Plus

Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally

This year is the Monte Carlo Rally's centenary and, just as in recent years, there's no shortage of World Rally Championship stars turning up to give the IRC regulars a run for their money

ERC
Jan 18, 2011
The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010 Plus

The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010

The competition didn't run as deep as it might have, but there was plenty of fight at the front with six of our top 10 winning rallies during the season. Matt Beer puts them in order

ERC
Nov 29, 2010