The day after what should have been the deciding leg of the Azores Rallye, FIAERC.com looks back to June 6, 2015, and Craig Breen’s victory – his third in a row in that season’s FIA European Rally Championship.
Co-driven by Scott Martin, Irishman Breen had been in a close battle for the win with Kajetan Kajetanowicz, with both drivers leading three times.
Kajto was 11.9s behind Breen with the final loop of three stages remaining, and felt he had to take a different tyre compound to Breen, regardless of his rival’s choice, if he was going to have a chance of victory.
While Breen, in a Peugeot Rally Academy 208 T16, kept his hard Michelins, the LOTOS Rally Team Fiesta R5 driver took soft Pirellis. The gamble didn’t pay off, and Breen was able to extend his lead to a healthy winning margin on what was the 50thAzores Rallye.
“I came to the Azores with one objective, and that was to win the rally,” said Breen. “I’ve got one extra year to prove I deserve to move forward in this sport, and I’m on top of the world at the moment. This weekend has been good for us. We have been fast when we needed to be fast and clever when we needed to be clever, so I’m chuffed to bits.”
Ricardo Moura suffered from brake pressure problems on the longer stages in his Ford Fiesta R5 and had to pump the brake pedal two or three times at each corner to slow down. It cost the seven-time Azorean rally champion a lot of time, and his first Azores Rallye victory still eludes him, as he finished third.
Bruno Magalhães took fourth, Robert Consani was fifth with José Pedro Fontes rounding out the top six. Behind seventh-placed Sam Moffett, Dominykas Butvilas won ERC with Chris Ingram taking an ERC3/ERC3 Junior double over Diogo Gago.
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