No sooner had Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team driver Craig Breen announced that with support from Irish American businessman John Campion that he would enter the 54th running of the Rally Isle of Man, his Abu Dhabi Total World Rally team would follow by announcing that Craig and his co-driver Scott Martin would feature in their driver line up for WRC Rally Corsica. This week Craig and Scott will leave no stone unturned to take away as much experience as possible from “the Manx” and the fantastic stages it has to offer. Although seeded number one on the rally and using the event as experience it will be far from a relaxing drive around the island which takes place from the 15th to the 17th of September. The rally hosts the final round of the British Rally Championship and its host of highly competitive season regulars as well as local ace Mark Higgins. Craig and Scott will use their Circuit of Ireland winning Citroen DS3 R5 run by David Greer Motorsport. Event organisers have laid on 20 stages covering 163 miles across the island from Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon. Following shakedown at lunchtime on Thursday all roads will lead to Douglas promenade for the spectacular side-by-side opening stage before two night stages take the crews well into darkness.
Friday as always on this event will be the meat of the challenge, with crews facing a 13-hour, 11 stage day. Six daytime tests begin with the rapid Sloc hillclimb, last used in 1980!
Headlined by a double run through the famous harbour-side Castletown spectator stage Friday night will form part of a real endurance test without any opportunity for service.
Saturday is no easy run to the champagne either, it’s three stages are all over 13 miles in length including the afternoon finale the ‘Classic’, encompassing all that is best about the famed Manx stages and a favourite of many drivers that crosses the island, starting on the infamous Druidale, takes in the familiar landmarks of Brandywell Cottage, Injebreck and Abbeylands jump and then joins the TT course for the final dash back to Douglas and the TT start/finish line. And keeping the challenge going right to the end, those final ten miles are unused throughout the rest of the rally.
Before setting off for the rally Craig said “I’m really looking forward to being back on tarmac, it’s been a while since the Circuit of Ireland and I need to get behind the wheel on asphalt competitively so we can be at our best when we compete at WRC Corsica”. He also thanked John Campion again for his support and making it possible to be at the start of the rally.