Breen gets chance in new Peugeot
Months of behind-the-scenes work by Kris Meeke and Craig Breen will be put to the test this weekend when Peugeot's new 208 T16 makes its European rally championship bow in Greece.
While Meeke has moved on to be part of the Citroen team in the World championship, he did much of the development testing of the car in company with fellow Irishman Breen who now has the job of stepping up Peugeot's assault on the European series, starting with the notoriously difficult Acropolis Rally.
The former World S2000 champion from Waterford is fourth in the standings after the first two rounds in which he had to rely on the outdated Peugeot 207 – an S2000 model in which Meeke won the Intercontinental title in 2009 – while the formalities of the new car's eligibility were completed.
He admits he has been champing at the bit in anticipation.
"I have driven hundreds of kilometres in testing so I know what the T16 is capable of and I would love to be the person who picks up its first victory," said Breen, who lines up alongside his Peugeot Academy team-mate Kevin Abbring in Loutraki tomorrow evening.
Winning may be the ultimate ambition but, realistically, Breen will be intent on getting the new R5 category car to the finish, and securing points, ahead of the European series dropping anchor in Belfast next month for the Circuit of Ireland.
He is 14 points behind Skoda's rising star Esapekka Lappi and knows he must stay in touch with the Finn until they meet again on the roads of Northern Ireland on April 18/19.