European Rally Championship

Breen leads five Irish drivers for Poland’s ERC opener

Craig Breen leads a string of Irish entries for next week’s Rally Poland, the first round of the European Rally Championship.

Breen and Paul Nagle return to the championship with MRF Tyres, who supported their ERC campaign in 2020. The World Rally Championship regulars will step back to an R5 Hyundai for the gravel event.

NPL Rally Hire will send three Ford Fiestas to Poland for Callum Devine, Cathan McCourt, and Jason Mitchell. The ERC is expected to be the main focus for all three drivers in 2021.

Devine, who once again represents the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, is seeded 19th in his Rally2 Fiesta. Devine and co-driver James Fulton finished 10th on their warm-up event, Lithuania’s Rally Žemaitija last weekend.

McCourt and Mitchell are seeded 34th and 36th respectively as they look to build their continental rally driving experience.

Jon Armstrong is a surprise entry for Rally Poland as he makes his debut in M-Sport Poland’s new Rally3 Ford Fiesta.

Armstrong test drove the new category car earlier this year but the circuit-based event will be nothing compared to the challenges of Rally Poland. There is a total of six Rally3 Fiestas on the entry list, including one for highly-rated Estonian, Ken Torn.

While his Poland outing will be in the four-wheel-drive variant of M-Sport’s Fiesta range, Armstrong will be glad of some extra gravel seat-time ahead of his next Junior WRC round in Estonia.

Armstrong had been leading WRC’s feeder series before his engine expired on the second day of Rally Portugal.

Reigning European Rally Champion, Alexey Lukyanuk tops the Rally Poland entry list with WRC 2’s Andreas Mikkelsen and Nikolay Gryazin adding the ERC to their calendar of events.

Photos courtesy of Chris Daley and FIA ERC

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