Belfast Telegraph

Craig Breen relishes the raucous Irish fans at rally

By Sammy Hamill

Craig Breen will look for some home cheer after three successive European Championship non-finishes when he takes part in this weekend's Raven's Rock Rally.

The Irish national event is based in his home city of Waterford and Breen will use the opportunity to switch from the Peugeot Academy 208 T16 he drives in the European series to his own WRC Ford Fiesta in preparation for the World Championship Rally Deutschland in August.

The German round will be one of two appearances Breen will make in the World Championship during the summer; he also plans to tackle Rally Finland in the M-Sport Fiesta.

"I don't often get the chance to compete so close to home but this weekend will give me the opportunity to familiarise myself with the Fiesta again," said the former World S2000 champion, who emulated his father Ray by winning the Raven's Rock event in 2011.

After winning the Acropolis Rally, Breen has seen his hopes of becoming European champion seriously damaged by mechanical issues with the Peugeot, forcing his retirement from the Circuit of Ireland, the Rally Azores and, last weekend, the Ypres Rally.

His Dutch team-mate Kevin Abbring has also fallen victim of the new R5 Peugeot's teething troubles, retiring on the Acropolis, the Circuit and again in Ypres.

The Peugeot engineers now have a three-week gap in which to tackle the problems before round seven of the ERC series in Estonia.

Despite his non-finishes, Breen remains second in the standings behind Circuit of Ireland winner Esapekka Lappi, who is 33 points ahead.

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