For 26 year old Waterford driver Craig Breen, 2016 so far has brought amazing opportunities, as he joined the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, but one he didn’t want to miss out on was defending his Circuit of Ireland title.
“It was an amazing feeling to win the Circuit of Ireland last year, it is such a special event, an event close to my heart” said Craig. “Despite my exciting new commitments with the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team in the World Rally Championship with the Citroen DS3 WRC, I have a passion for the Circuit, and I wanted another chance to drive those fabulous stages. I’m delighted that we have managed to secure a budget to contest the rally in a Citroen DS3 R5. We had to dig deep to make it happen and Lakeland Tyres support as the main sponsor was literally a life-line to make this all happen. It’s great to be involved with them, and of course five times Irish Tarmac Champion- Eugene Donnelly from Lakeland Tyres has been helpful recently in my career passing on some of his vast experience.”
Now Craig will join the cream of the FIA European Rally Championship, on April 7th-9th in a DGM Sport run Citroen DS3 R5. Eugene Donnelly, winner of the Circuit of Ireland in 2006 and 2009, had initially looked at putting together a package to contest the event himself, but decided to help back Craig’s effort for 2016.
“I am delighted to have secured the deal for Craig to compete in this year’s Circuit. I have been competing in motorsport for almost thirty years and I know how difficult it is to raise a budget to compete in an event like the Circuit of Ireland. It’s been a few years since I won the event and the feeling of knowing my name is on the trophy is one of the things I am most proud of in my rallying career. It’s a great feeling being involved with Lakeland Tyres as the main sponsor to Craig for the event. To be part of a team which can win the event is as good as taking part. I am also excited to be part of Craig’s team on the rally advising on tyres and giving some technical support a role which I carried out for Craig on several European rallies last year.” said Lakeland Tyres Group Manager- Eugene Donnelly.
It’s all part of an exciting time for Lakeland Tyres, a company that has very much spread its roots from Fermanagh, with two new depots opening in 2015. Those new high tech tyre centres are in Mallusk on the outskirts of Belfast, and the other in Portadown to join the company’s existing Lisnaskea and Enniskillen branches. Lakeland Tyres Managing Director Adrian Frazer has also once again shown his support for motorsport.
“To be involved in the Circuit of Ireland in this way is tremendous. The event has really come to prominence again in the past few years and it’s excellent to support such a successful young driver contesting such a prestigious event. We have other motorsport commitments in 2016 including drifting and motorcycling. There is certainly a passion for it within the company.” said Adrian.
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