Nagle, who like Breen hails from Ireland, has replaced Breen’s former navigator and best friend Gareth Roberts, who lost his life in a crash on a rally in Sicily in mid-June.
After setting the fourth fastest time in the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship section of the event, the title contender said: “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 a time that was not so far off the pace.”
Breen was 8.9s adrift of category pacesetter Hayden Paddon and felt he could have gone faster had he bled the brakes of his Ford Fiesta S2000 more effectively before the start of the 13.68-kilometre Koukunmaa test. “We had some fade because of this but it wasn’t really a problem,” added Breen.
Prior to the event, Breen spoke about the emotions he’s experienced in recent weeks: “This day had to come. It will be very emotional, stepping back into the car and not having Gareth with me will be extremely hard but we started this book three years ago, two careers coming together, moulded by friendship into one goal. Now I must see that goal through to fruition. The book stays the same; the goal stays the same it’s just time for a new chapter.”