Craig Breen says his “dream has come true” after signing with the Peugeot factory to drive in this year’s European rally championship.
The 22-year-old World Super 2000 champion flew to Monaco at the weekend to complete the deal which will see him contest eight rounds of the new ERC series as part of the inaugural Peugeot Rally Academy team.
The former Rally NI winner from Waterford, who fought back from the trauma of seeing co-driver Gareth Roberts killed in an accident in Sicily last year, will also take on the lead test driver role in developing Peugeot’s new R5-specification 208 rally car.
Breen will start his ERC campaign in Latvia at the beginning of next month where he will drive one of the current S2000 Peugeots run by the French Sainteloc team, who supported him on a number of Intercontinental Challenge rounds last year. He follows in the footsteps of Kris Meeke who won the IRC title for Peugeot in 2009.
“Being part of the Peugeot Rally Academy and an official factory driver is a dream come true,” said Breen. “I have to say a massive thank you to Peugeot Sport for putting their trust in me.”
Breen, who will be co-driven by fellow Irishman David Moynihan, will be joined in the Academy squad by two young French drivers, Jeremi Ancian and Stephane Lefebvre. Ancian will contest six ERC events in an S2000-spec 207 while Lefebvre will drive a 208 R2 on four rounds.
Peugeot Sport team principal Bruno Famin said: “I’m confident Craig will confirm all the good things that have been said about him in this year's ERC.”