Anyone that has followed the career of Peugeot Rally Academy driver Craig Breen will be well aware of his never give up attitude. On occasions when the odds were stacked against him and others would have given up, Craig stayed strong and achieved the seemingly impossible. This week the Peugeot Rally Academy driver returns to the World Rally Championship very much hoping he will get an unhindered chance to show that both he and the 208T16 have what it takes to replicate their European Rally Championship success at World level.
The ADAC Rallye Deutscland (Aug 20th – 23rd) will see Craig and his co-driver Scott Martin tackle their fourth round of WRC this season in the SAINTéLOC Racing run Peugeot 208T16. The all asphalt Trier based event will see the Peugeot Rally Academy duo compete against a host of WRC2 rivals on one of the most challenging sealed surface events where drivers will have to adapt their driving style throughout the weekend to cope with a mixture of roads through bumpy narrow vineyards, military tracks, mountains and smooth countryside. The weekend gets underway with a 4.6km shakedown stage at Konz near Trier on Thursday morning where Craig will be able to make some final setup adjustments before the Porta Nigra start ramp later on that evening. Friday will see the cars compete over eights stages in the Eifel region, close to the Luxembourg and Belgian borders with the mosel broken by a mid-day service back in the Trier service park. Saturday mixes country roads with vineyard tracks and this year drivers will face back to back runs over the daunting Panzerplatter stage where the much feared hinkelsteins will be waiting to catch the World’s best as they have done in the past especially if the unpredictable weather turns wet. Though only four stages Sunday’s final leg in the Mosel wine area will be far from a lazy spin to the finish. Again split by a mid-day service the narrow bumpy lanes that zig-zag their way through the vineyards will keep the drivers on their toes right up to the finish ramp at Porta Nigra in Trier city centre around lunch time.
Because Craig won the World Rally Academy class on this event back in 2011 he has what it takes to be a winner on this event. He has also sampled the terrain more recently as he was due to compete on the event twelve months ago but despite being passed medically fit by his Irish Specialist after a back injury on WRC Finland was refused a start by the event medical team on safety grounds. Put together that past success and a relatively recent recce and you can understand why Craig is optimistic he can put his WRC2 season woes behind him and push for a win. Before leaving for Germany Craig said “We’ve had disappointments with our WRC2 season so far there’s no denying but we have to stay positive, move on and prove our pace”.