Peugeot Rally Academy driver Craig Breen is hoping to return to winning ways as he kick starts his WRC 2 season in Monte-Carlo this week. The Irishman along with Welsh co-driver Scott Martin had a disappointing start to their FIA European Rally Championship campaign with retirement in Austria at the start of the month and will be looking to make amends on the infamous Rallye Monte-Carlo.
The Irishman has a history on this event taking victory here in the SWRC (the previous version of WRC2) with the late Gareth Roberts in 2012 on their way to winning the series outright. Peugeot have also enjoyed success winning two times using the 207 S2000 with Sébastien Ogier (2009) and Bryan Bouffier (2011)so the enigma of what it takes to master this challenging all asphalt event for both car and crew has already been unlocked.
The Irishman will face competition from the likes of 2014 Junior World Rally Champion Stephane Lefebvre as well as JWRC front runner Quentin Giordano as he bids for his first win of the season. Competitors in WRC-2 will contest at least seven rounds of the series with the best six rounds counting towards final championship classification.
This year’s Rallye Monte Carlo the rally boasts a 75% route change compared to that of last year. Friday is made up of three new stages in quick succession north of Gap with the loop repeated again after a midday service. Saturday brings the rally back to its roots when the cars will transverse some of the more familiar classic stages as they take the long way back to Monaco. The final leg on Sunday will keep with tradition seeing the action in the Alpes Maritimes Mountains above Monaco and featuring the iconic “Col de Turini” which is sure to draw thousands of spectators. The crews then return for the finish outside the Palace in Monaco, with monarch Prince Albert presenting the prizes.