Breen, from Ireland, is locked in a three-way battle with P-G Andersson and Yazeed Al-Rajhi as he attempts to follow up his FIA WRC Academy success of 12 months ago by clinching the SWRC accolade in Spain.
With a two-point advantage over Andersson in the standings, Breen (pictured) is in the ascendancy but must finish ahead of his Swedish rival to be sure of the crown. However, Al-Rajhi can also take the spoils but with a 20-point deficit to make up to Breen, the Saudi Arabian star will need results to go his way if he’s to triumph.
“Our two recent wins have transformed our season,” said Breen, 22. “I found Wales Rally GB very difficult but that win gave me great confidence. I’ve been training very hard since my last event and there will be no stone unturned in the quest for world title number two.”
Like Breen, Andersson also has previous form when it comes to winning FIA titles having captured the Junior championship in 2004 and 2007. He heads the PROTON charge in his works-supported Satria Neo although he admits his absence from the event in recent years could put him at a disadvantage when the first stage goes live on Friday morning.
“I haven’t been to Catalunya for a few years and I haven’t been since the organisers were including the gravel stages,” said Andersson. “We need to win the Super 2000 category; the only way to think is to win the event for us to take the title. The car feels good, we know how good it is on gravel and we have shown some real speed on the asphalt as well.”
Meanwhile, Al-Rajhi warmed up for his trip to Spain by contesting the mixed-surface Cyprus Rally, the penultimate round of the FIA Middle East championship, last weekend but crashed early on. Fortunately he wasn’t using the Ford Fiesta RRC he’ll campaign in Spain on the island event.
With his hopes of the SWRC crown over, outgoing Production Car world champion Hayden Paddon is hoping to demonstrate his speed in his Red Bull-backed Skoda.
Former category regular Albert Llovera returns as a wildcard entrant. Young British driver Alastair Fisher will partner Andersson at PROTON, while Pole Maciej Oleksowicz, fifth in the points, completes the entry in his Fiesta.