Thursday | 09 Feb 2017

Breen's 'new chapter' in Sweden

As he prepares to make his competitive debut in Citroën's C3 WRC at Rally Sweden, Craig Breen says he is starting a new chapter in his career.

The Irishman will step up to a C3 this weekend after driving a 2016-spec DS 3 to an impressive fifth place at January's Rallye Monte-Carlo.

"Now I get to try the big car - which feels like I'm having an affair with the other car's sister," Breen joked today.

"It's an awesome feeling. The car is fantastic to drive and I'm taking so much pleasure from every kilometre behind the wheel. Starting a new chapter in my career here in Sweden is something I'm really happy about."

Breen and his co-driver Scott Martin got off to a great start at the pre-event Shakedown, recording the best performance for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT with the second fastest time overall, a tenth of a second off Mads Østberg's lead pace.

He said: "Shakedown was really good. Scott and I felt we had a good rhythm and the car was going well. I feel a bit like a child waiting for Christmas morning now - I just want to get started."

Sweden is a rally Breen knows well, and he has tackled it more times than his team-mates Kris Meeke and Stéphane Lefebvre.

"This is my fifth time doing this rally, and it's the rally where I have the most experience. In theory, that should mean I can do someting special, but at the same time it's a big step up," he explained.

"Even though it's my third time here in a World Rally Car it's only my ninth rally ever in a World Rally Car - so we still have a lot of things to learn." 

Ahead of his first stage in the C3, Thursday night's Super Special at Karlstad racecourse, Breen said he was keeping his nerves under control:

"This chance is something I've waited all my life for, so of course I'm a bit nervous, but whenever the nerves kick in and I feel under pressure, I always go back to the same thing: The chance to drive these cars and be part of this team is so rare, so unique, there's no point in getting clouded over by the pressure or stressed. You might as well get out there and enjoy the thing.

"You're getting to drive hundreds of thousands of Euros worth of World Rally Car down some of the best stages in the world, so you may as well have a spring in your step and enjoy it. And if the result is good, then we have a few beers at the end. If not, then we have to work a bit harder. It's the best job in the world."


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