The 22-year-old Irishman was back in action in the world championship support category for the first time since the death of his friend and co-driver Gareth Roberts in a crash on a rally in Sicily in mid-June.
He was leading his class ahead of P-G Andersson following a heroic performance when a heavy crash put him out on the penultimate stage, fortunately without injury to he or new navigator Paul Nagle.
“I’m very disappointed to have crashed out so close to the end,” said Breen, whose Ford Fiesta S2000 was badly damaged in the accident. “The most important thing is that Paul and I are okay. Up to that stage I was really pleased with my performance. I showed a good pace without pushing too hard. I want to thank my whole team, my family and Gareth’s family for their support during this time and special thanks to Paul; he has come in under unbelievable circumstances and done a brilliant job.”
Breen added: “It’s a sad feeling but I want to thank all the people who have given me the courage to get here. I never thought I’d be in a rally car again, let alone [with this performance]. I congratulate P-G on his win after a great drive over three days.”
Nagle said: “Craig drove exceptionally well, his courage and commitment after everything that has happen is astounding and his driving has been outstanding.”