Breen ready for action on the Acropolis
March 24, 2014 by Jamie Kent
When Craig Breen took up his role within the newly formed Peugeot Rally Academy at the beginning of the 2013 season it was a two year plan. His first season was always intended to be a learning year, to gain knowledge of new events and with it the responsibility of being the lead development driver of the new generation Peugeot 208 T16 in preparation for this year.
All the work of the last 12months, all the kilometres, all the adjustments, tweaks and changes will come together to make their competitive debut next weekend at the Acropolis Rally in Greece Round 3 of the European Rally Championship (ERC) 2014.
The traditionally all gravel event which is celebrating its 60th year holds legendary status for drivers from all around the world and this year there will be an extra challenge as it will be made up of thirteen stages both on tarmac and gravel. The Loutraki based rally is the perfect first ERC event for the new Peugeot 208 T16 over both surfaces on the one event which rarely happens in the rallying world these days.
Shortly after noon on Friday March 28th Craig and his co-driver Scott Martin will compete against their rivals on a 3.27km tarmac qualifying stage to determine road position for the following day and this will give a glimmer of what to expect over the weekend from the Peugeot Rally Academy crew and their new 208 T16. Later on that evening they will take part in a spectacular start ceremony high above the Corinth Canal.
Day one of the Acropolis (March 29th) will see the Peugeot Rally Academy crew take on 124.62km of the new tarmac stages in the north eastern part of Peloponnese and although the fans have questioned the introduction of these stages the organizers are very confident that the fans will be more than satisfied with their choice of roads. Day two will use 114.22km of the event’s more traditional gravel stages that are fast and quite rocky in parts giving the classical essence of this event, keeping the pace up the but trying to preserve the car at the same time. This year also sees the introduction on day two of a tarmac seaside superspecial mid loop which takes place in Korinthos and while drivers are sure to put on a great show for the fans it will make things tricky for them due the cars being in gravel set up.
Craig admits he desperately wants to win a round of the championship soon and he wants to give the new Peugeot 208 T16 its maiden win and on its maiden ERC event. He will have to get the best from himself and out of the new car though as the entry list for the rally is very strong with some of Europe’s best drivers taking part including his championship rivals Bryan Bouffier and Esapekka Lappi. Dutchman Kevin Abbring will partner Craig in a second Peugeot Rally Academy-entered 208 T16 and for sure he will have high hopes for the event too. You can keep up to date during the event by visiting www.craigbreen.com or www.peugeot-sport.com