The Peugeot Rally Academy’s Craig Breen and Scott Martin completed this year’s weather-troubled Acropolis Rally in second place. Team-mates Charles Martin and Thierry Salva retired. Recent heavy rain in Greece’s Loutraki region caused the Acropolis Rally organisers to shorten the event’s opening stage which had originally been planned to exceed 40 kilometres in length.
In light of the first leg’s horrendous conditions, Craig Breen started cautiously but overcame the tricky, muddy stages to put his 208T16 on Saturday night’s provisional podium, less than 15 seconds behind the overnight leader. The next day, the Irishman switched to attack mode and two consecutive fastest times on the morning’s loop put the N°1 Peugeot Rally Academy 208T16 at the top of the order. The situation didn’t last, however, since there was nothing Craig could do when the bonnet of his car flew open in the middle of a stage, dropping him back to second spot, 10 seconds short Kajetanowicz. Craig and Scott were intent on recovering their lead when the organisers decided to cancel the weekend’s last three stages due to the continuing bad weather. Although the final result failed to live up to the hopes he had nurtured prior to the start, Craig was still pleased with the pace he showed and the fact that he was able to battle for the victory.
Charles Martin, who was making his final ERC appearance of the season, had a troubled weekend in Greece. The 2014 208 Rally Cup winner chose to hand in his timecard during the opening leg after judging the conditions to be excessively delicate. He then re-started on Sunday morning under the Rally2 ruling but crashed and retired a second time due to the excessive damage suffered by his 208T16. Everyone at Peugeot Rally Academy is now eager to move on to Switzerland’s Rallye International du Valais where Craig Breen and Scott Martin will be out to wrap up the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship with a fourth win for the 208T16.
Final positions: 1, K. Kajetanowicz (Ford Fiesta R5), 1h32m11.1s. 2, Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Peugeot 208T16), +10.0s. 3, L. Athanassoulas (Skoda Fabia R5), +15.3s. 4, J. Tarabus (Skoda Fabia S2000), +3m12.5s. 5, D. Botka (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9), +3m54.5s. Etc.
FIA ERC standings: 1, K. Kajetanowicz (Ford Fiesta R5), 230 points. 2, Craig Breen (Peugeot 208T16), 162. 3, A. Lukyanuk (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X), 124. 4, R. Consani (Citroën DS3 R5), 79. 5, J. Tarabus (Skoda Fabia S2000), 75. Etc.
The next FIA ERC outing for the Peugeot Rally Academy will be the Rallye International du Valais (Switzerland) on October 28-31. Craig Breen: 208 T16