Peugeot Rally Academy star driver Craig Breen and his new co-driver Scott Martin will get their new partnership and their 2014 season underway this weekend by taking part in the first of two different rallies, in two in different countries and in two different cars.
First up Craig will get behind the wheel of his regular Peugeot Rally Academy 207 S2000 car at Rally Liepāja in Latvia, Round Two of the 2014 European Rally Championship (ERC). The event begins on Friday with a qualifying stage in the afternoon followed by a ceremonial start later on that evening, but it’s on Saturday and Sunday that the Peugeot Rally Academy crew will get down to business by tackling 240km of snow-covered stages.
Breen finished second here last year and although the rally has moved to a different area for 2014 he still admits to feeling confident and hopes to show good pace on what should be his last official Peugeot Rally Academy outing in the Peugeot 207 S2000 as the new Peugeot 208 T16 is due to replace it for his next ERC round in March. He confesses to being a little sad to see the 207 S2000 go as it holds both good and bad memories for him in his career, but he’s relishing the opportunity of driving the new 208 T16 in competition after being instrumental in the development of the car over the past year.
With no time for his 24th birthday celebrations on the Sunday in Latvia, Breen will head straight off into the unknown to compete at Rally Sweden from 5 – 8 February. This is the second round of the 2014 World Rally Championship (WRC), and this time Breen with permission from Peugeot Sport will be behind the wheel of a WRC. Albeit more familiar territory for him having competed on the event twice before, he has never done so in full WRC machinery. On both previous events he very successfully used an S2000 car and his second place in 2012 contributed to him winning the S-WRC title later on that year. Breen is taking nothing for granted, commenting: “Even though I’ve competed here before, it will be a real baptism of fire for me and a completely different experience in this car.” There is no doubt that the demanding schedule of both events will test Breen’s skill, talent and fitness level to the max but the Peugeot Rally Academy driver rarely if ever disappoints.