Breen targets clean start in Turkey

Citroën Racing’s Craig Breen hopes to end the opening leg jinx that has blighted his recent WRC appearances at next week’s Rally Turkey (13-16 September).

The Irishman suffered a run of first leg mishaps at the last four rounds which scuppered his bid for a podium in his C3 World Rally Car. 

He is desperate for a clean start to the gravel-road encounter and said: “The aim is really to get through the opening leg without any hiccups. If we manage to do that, we should be right up there, in the mix and well placed for the rest of the rally.”

Breen’s dramas began in Portugal in May when he plunged from third to eighth following a flat tyre. Multiple stalls in Italy cost vital seconds before a wheel change and fuel pressure problems relegated him down the order in Finland.

His bad luck continued at last month’s asphalt encounter in Germany when a torrential downpour delayed him after his rivals ahead enjoyed dry conditions.

Breen has suffered first leg issues regularly in 2018

On each occasion Breen’s misfortunes meant he started the following day at or near the top of the start order. He drove on slippery roads with next to no chance of regaining time.
 
Breen has studied organisers’ special stage footage of the all-new rally and the 28-year-old is impressed with the mix of roads at the Marmaris-based event.

“It’s difficult to take any real information from the onboard footage recorded by the organiser in a production car,” he said. “One thing is for sure however, the course looks very interesting, with a good variety of roads, some narrow, technical and rough, others much quicker.”

Breen’s optimism was echoed by team principal Pierre Budar, who believes the rally offers the French manufacturer a good chance of a positive result.

“This rally is new for everyone, so all the teams and crews will start off on an equal footing,” he said.

Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Rally Turkey, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.

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