For the final clash of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship, Craig Breen and everyone at the Peugeot Rally Academy have their sights set on outright victory in Switzerland. As further evidence of the model’s success, no fewer than five 208T16s figure on the entry list for this week’s Rallye International du Valais.
The Swiss event proposes a menu of 17 stages totalling 230 kilometres to round off this year’s European campaign which has been an emotional ride for Craig Breen and his co-driver Scott Martin. The crew of the Peugeot Rally Academy’s number one car is currently second in the provisional ERC standings after claiming victories on every one the three types of surface featured on the championship’s calendar. Craig and Scott took the top prize on snow in Latvia, came first on the asphalt lanes of the Circuit of Ireland, then claimed the same result on the loose in the Azores, as well as a long list of top finishes on the year’s other events. Craig Breen is keen to wrap up the 2015 European Rally Championship in style in Switzerland.
It’s been something of a seesaw season but I am hoping to round off the year in style by taking another victory in the 208T16 which has been very competitive again in 2015. A fourth win would be a great way to reward all the work the team has put in.
In addition to Craig Breen’s car, four other 208T16s are scheduled to start the Rallye International du Valais. They will be in the hands of Bryan Bouffier (ROMO Motorsport), Bruno Magalhães (Delta Rally), Jonathan Hirschi (HRT Rally Team) and Emil Bergkvist. Bryan Bouffier won the 2010 French Rally Championship and the 2011 Rallye Monte-Carlo in a factory Peugeot 207 S2000 and is clearly a potential winner this weekend. Peugeot Portugal-backed Bruno Magalhães and Jonathan Hirschi are two other 208T16 campaigners in the ERC and are quite likely to play leading roles, while this year’s Junior European Champion Emil Bergkvist will be making his debut in an R5 class. His car will be tended by Saintéloc Racing as a reward for his junior title.
1, Kajetan KAJETANOWICZ (Ford Fiesta R5), 230 points. 2, CRAIG BREEN / SCOTT MARTIN (PEUGEOT 208 T16), 162. 3, Alexey LUKYANUK (Ford Fiesta R5), 124. 4, Robert CONSANI (Citroën DS3 R5), 79. 5, Jaromir TARABUS (Skoda Fabia S2000), 75. Etc.
Monday, October 26: recce
Tuesday, October 27: recce
Wednesday, October 28: Scrutineering and documents checks
Thursday, October 29: test session, Qualifying Stage, Leg 1
Friday, October 30: Leg 2
Saturday, October 31: Leg 3