As the FIA European Rally Championship enters the second half of the season its back to gravel for round six in Estonia and Peugeot Rally Academy driver Craig Breen will be looking to return to his winning ways after interrupting his winning streak at the last round in Belgium at the end of June. The auto24 Rally Estonia (17th – 19th of July) will be Craig’s second time to compete on the rally as he used it as a test event ahead of WRC Rally Finland back in 2011. Having shown great pace on that occasion he is relishing the chance to attack the fast flowing gravel stages in his more powerful Peugeot 208T16 this time.
The rally gets underway on Friday at lunch time with a short 2.95km qualifying stage to determine the order of choice for road position by the drivers that evening at the ceremonial start. They will then straight away tackle the Tartu City stage which opens leg one ahead of the first full day of rallying on Saturday. Consisting of nine stages with two visits to the service park in Otepää Craig and his co-driver Scott Martin will need to be in top form from the word go as not only will their usual championship challengers be bringing the fight to the Peugeot Rally Academy crew but there will be a host of Estonian drivers out to win their home ERC event and in the latest R5 machinery too.
Leg two on Sunday will throw almost 64kms more at everyone so it will be all about balancing speed with survival in an effort to reach the podium back in Tartu that evening. Traditionally drawing a huge number of spectators The auto24 Rally Estonia is quickly becoming one of the must experience rallies of the FIA European Rally Championship such is the sheer pace of the gravel roads and long crests. Ahead of the event Craig is being very clear saying “We go to Estonia with the same goal as we went to Ypres, and that is to extend our championship lead by winning. We will have plenty of driver’s intent on stopping us but have a very proven package on this terrain.”