Wednesday 18 January 2017

Pressure off Breen in Spain test

Published 13/10/2016 | 02:30

Craig Breen. Photo: Roni Rekomaa/Getty Images
Craig Breen. Photo: Roni Rekomaa/Getty Images

Craig Breen heads into this weekend's Rally de Espana buoyed by the last week's announcement of his promotion to a Citroen works drive for the next two years.

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The Waterford racer heads to the holiday resort of Salou for his fifth outing behind the wheel of a Citroen DS3 WRC having already scored his first WRC podium finish in Finland this summer and finishing in fifth place in Corsica two weeks ago. This is a happy hunting ground for Breen. It is the rally where he scored his first points in the WRC and in 2012 he finished sixth overall driving a Super 2000 car to clinch the SWRC title.

With a mixed surface shakedown stage and the ceremonial start tonight, Breen and his co-driver Scott Martin head north to the streets of Barcelona for a tricky 3.2km special before the weekend properly gets under way. Tomorrow's action is mainly gravel but asphalt sections on the long Terra Alta test will add an extra challenge.

"It is fantastic to be starting the rally without the pressure of trying to prove myself to the team," said Breen.

"It really is a dream come true for me. Rally de Espana is a mixed-surface event and the stages are very different to those we had in Corsica last week, so we'll have the chance to build up even more experience.

"It's an event that I know well and that will help me to improve in a World Rally Car. At this stage of the season, I feel confident both on quick gravel roads and on tarmac.

"So I should be able to use all the knowledge I've acquired and switch from one surface to the other in a relaxed frame of mind."

Irish Independent

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