Tue 25 Oct 2022

Breen on Nagle: ‘He’s been like a brother to me’

M-Sport Ford driver Craig Breen has thanked co-driver Paul Nagle for 10 years of memories after the Irishman bowed into retirement at RallyRACC - Rally de España.

Nagle marked his 102nd and final start at rallying’s top-level at last weekend’s penultimate round in Spain. Co-driving for Breen in a Puma Rally1, the pair finished ninth overall after dropping time with a puncture on Sunday morning. 

His WRC career has spanned 18 years and the highlights include 18 podiums plus five wins alongside Kris Meeke. 

Nagle first co-drove for Breen in 2012 and the duo enjoyed part-time campaigns together at Hyundai as well as leading the M-Sport Ford team this season.

“It’s been great,” Breen reflected. “You know, it’s been more or less 10 years on and off and we’ve had a great partnership. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. 

“It’s been more than just anything in a sporting sense. Paul is my best friend and he’s like a brother to me. We get on like a house on fire inside and outside the car, and it’s definitely going to be strange not having him around. 

“I have to thank him for all his work over the last few years, and I also need to thank his wife Cathy. She’s basically raised the whole household while Paul has been away travelling with me and taken care of two kids, so it’s been a massive commitment from his whole family.” 

While Nagle’s WRC co-driving days are over, Breen added that the pair will be back together in a rally car at some point in the future - most likely in a historic vehicle. 

“I wish him all the best, but we’ll definitely see him around,” Breen added. “We’re going to be doing some more historic stuff in the not so distant future, so we won’t have long to wait.”

Nagle’s replacement is fellow countryman James Fulton, who takes up the reins from next month’s FORUM8 Rally Japan. The 30-year-old has been competing alongside Josh McErlean in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 and won the WRC2 Junior Co-Driver’s title in Spain.

Onboard of the Rally: Nagle's final stage
Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM