Craig Breen admits that he'd love 'to run away with it' when the European Rally Championship touches down on his home soil in Northern Ireland, but accepts that he faces another tough challenge.
The Peugeot driver took a breakthrough maiden victory on the recent Acropolis Rally with the French marque's all-new 208 T16, but acknowledges that, despite knowing the roads in next weekend's event, he will not be allowed an easy ride by his competitors.
“I'd love to think I'll be able to run away with it, but I know it's going to be a tough fight,” the Irishman conceded, “Kevin Abbring, my team-mate, was leading in Greece on tarmac and will definitely be a thorn in my side. Then you've got Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand from Škoda. The last time the Circuit ran, there was a big fight at the front and, when you're pushing at ten-tenths on narrow, bumpy lanes with big jumps, you can only look forward to it.
“The roads are amazing, some of the best in the world. Everybody talks about the jumps in Finland and flying in the forests, but when you are flying on tarmac you have to be that much more sharp, that much more precise – there's no better feeling than that.”
Winning the Acropolis has lifted the weight of expectation off the youngster's shoulders, however, and he admits that it will allow him to approach the next ERC round with a more relaxed attitude.
“I tried so hard last year to get a victory,” Breen confessed, “If I hadn't won the Acropolis, and if all eyes were on me to try to get my first victory on the Circuit, then it would have been a whole lot more difficult. But, getting one under my belt, I'm feeling more relaxed knowing I have both the speed and consistency you need. But I'd still do anything to win this rally...”