Craig’s Ultimate Birthday Present
January 29, 2013 by Tony Gregory
This Saturday as Craig celebrates his twenty third birthday and will receive his ultimate birthday present as he contests FIA ERC Rally Liepāja-Ventspils in Latvia, round two of the 2013 European Rally Challenge and his maiden event as a ‘Works Driver’.
Last weekend as Craig’s basked in the glory of winning the Park Hotel, Supreme Sports Star Award for 2012 in his native Waterford, he also had the delight as the French Lion, Peugeot Sport published details of their new Rally Academy.
The announcement stated Craig would join the team as factory driver for 2013, taking on eight rounds in the newly formed FIAERC (European Rally Championship). Added to his championship campaign Craig would also spearhead an intensive test programme with Peugeot’s new rally car, the 208 Type R5.
Craig’s reaction to the statement, “This is incredible and beyond my dreams.” The Irish driver took his initial steps in his new job during the last week in Riboux, south of France as he joined Peugeot Sport for a four-day gravel test programme in the 208 Type R5 but its next weekend when he and his new co driver David Moynihan (Mallow, Co. Cork) get down to competition for the first time. Craig’s new season begins this weekend in Latvia (Baltic region of Northern Europe).
Starting in Liepāja, Latvia’s Kurzeme region west of the capital Riga, Rally Liepāja-Ventspils opens with a qualifying stage on Friday morning. Then on Friday evening the rally action begins with three special stages. The event gradually heads north up the Baltic coastline on Saturday with six stages being contested and the event concludes on Sunday in the city of Ventspils with the final five tests.
Craig’s comments as he looks ahead to the rally, “After losing my best friend last year, it’s incredible to now reach one of our ultimate goals. I’m 23 years old next weekend, not long out of karting and now I’m a factory driver with Peugeot and I’m doing eight rounds of the ERC. To be honest I’m speechless.”