World Rally Championship: Craig Breen hails dream deal
The stuff dreams are made of - that was Craig Breen's verdict when it was confirmed he will be part of Citroen's team in next year's World Rally Championship.
The 27-year-old double Circuit of Ireland winner from Waterford is to join young Frenchman Stephane Lefebvre as Kris Meeke's team-mates for the 2017 and '18 seasons, Citroen making the announcement yesterday, a week earlier than planned.
Ulsterman Meeke, already on a three-year contract, will lead the team with Breen and Lefebvre initially sharing one of the all-new C3 cars until a third one is introduced, probably for the Rally of Portugal in April.
They have been alternating on events this year with Breen producing the stand-out result when he finished third behind Meeke on Rally Finland. A former World Academy and S2000 champion, he said: "This is the stuff dreams are made of. I'm super excited to be part of this team."
Making the announcement, Citroen Racing boss Yves Matton said: "We had several scenarios regarding the choice of our crews for the future. Kris Meeke was confirmed at the end of last year and has become the natural leader of the team.
"In choosing two young crews to complete the line-up, I don't think we can be accused of having gone for the easy option. But this solution is very much aligned with Citroen's mindset. And having seen them compete this season, we believe in the potential of Craig Breen and Stephane Lefebvre.
"They have the natural talent, motivation and work ethic to win rallies. I would also say we are proud to take these young drivers - who have been with the PSA Group for many years - to the top level of the sport."