2011 FIA WRC Academy Champions, Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts, finished second in the S-WRC at Rally Sweden this weekend to maintain their lead at the head of the Championship – 18 points clear of double J-WRC Champion, P-G Andersson.
Putting his WRC Academy scholarship to good use, Breen’s achievements showcase the potential successes future WRC Academy graduates can expect. Providing the most promising young drivers with tuition on the world stage, the feeder series prepares competitors in a number of disciplines. As well as improving driving style, the WRC Academy also prepares young drivers physically and mentally with tuition from mentors with experience of rallying’s top echelons.
There was no doubting Breen’s ability behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta R2 last year, but much of his success so far this season comes from the mature and composed approach he has adapted for each event – something the Irishman admits has much to do with his time in the WRC Academy.
Now, as the S-WRC moves towards Breen’s preferred surfaces on gravel and asphalt, the 22-year-old will be looking to apply his training and eke out an even bigger advantage at the head of the S-WRC Championship.
The deadline for FIA WRC Academy entries is 27 February. Please see www.wrc.com/wrcacademy for further information or contact WRC Academy Manager, Kate Rhodes, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)1900 828 888.
2011 FIA WRC Academy Champion, Craig Breen said: “The [FIA WRC] Academy helped me tremendously. To do a full season and learn the characteristics of all the rallies and how to drive them was a great experience for me and really helped. More importantly, especially here in Sweden which was not a part of the [WRC] Academy last year – it [the WRC Academy] taught me not to get carried away; to plan the event properly and remember that anything can happen.
“We had a lot of help and advice last year, but the thing that has helped me the most, is to remember that an event is a long three days and that anything can happen. You need to keep yourself positive and focused and the Academy really helped with getting me into that mentality.”
FIA WRC Manager, Michèle Mouton said: “Craig is a great ambassador for the WRC Academy. After a sensational debut in the series last year he has stepped up into a S2000 car and, in the opening round of the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship in Monte-Carlo, he won the category. Everything he learnt during his year in the Academy has clearly helped him develop and we all wish him every success for the remainder of the season.”