Along with Sergey Karyakin, Egon Kaur, Miko-Ove Niinemae and Molly Taylor, Breen and Fisher were using the event to practice ahead of Neste Oil Rally Finland, the third round of the FIA WRC Academy Cup, later this month. Both events use similar high-speed gravel stages.
After finishing second in class A6 in a Ford Fiesta R2, similar to the one he campaigns in the WRC Academy as part of the Pirelli Star Driver scheme, Breen said: “We were on the Pirelli tyre that we use in the WRC Academy, which is a harder compound than many of our rivals.”
Briton Fisher, who finished 1.2s behind Breen in third after slipping behind the Irishman on the final stage, said: “We were able to make pacenotes on stages with crests and fast corners, which is what we’ll experience in Finland.”
Fisher was followed him by Karyakin, Niinemae - who was using a Citroen C2 rather than a Fiesta R2 - and Kaur in fourth, sixth and seventh in class respectively.
Taylor, who was competing with new co-driver Seb Marshall for the first time, was restricted to eighth in class A6 due to an electrical problem, which caused her Fiesta to cut out on several occasions.
“My aim with this event was to narrow the gap to some of my fastest WRC Academy rivals in terms of seconds per kilometre and we achieved that,” said the Australian. “Everything gelled with Seb too, which was fantastic. It’s a very tough call for someone to start with a totally new pace note system on such a fast event, but it all came together really well.”
Jose Suarez was also in action last weekend, albeit on Sata Rallye Azores in the mid-Atlantic. Unfortunately for the Spaniard his event ended when he rolled his Fiesta. Meanwhile, Brendan Reeves was competing on the International Rally of Whangarei in New Zealand and finished sixth overall in a hired Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.