Craig Breen leads SATA Rallye Açores overnight, the first gravel round of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship, after the opening three stages on the mid-Atlantic island of São Miguel.
Co-driven by Scott Martin, the Peugeot Rally Academy 208 T16 driver had trailed Kajetan Kajetanowicz (LOTOS Rally Team Fiesta R5) after two stages, but took the lead after a great drive through the longest 12.88km Vila Franca São Brás 1 test.
Kajto is second, just 1.4s behind Breen, while Ricardo Moura is third in his repaired Fiesta R5. Josh Moffett (Ford Fiesta RRC) is an excellent fourth, despite having to overtake Charles Martin on SS3, who has been suffering technical problems in his 208 T16.
Bruno Magalhães has struggled with a lack of power in his 208 T16, Giacomo Costenaro reported handling problems in his Peugeot 207 S2000 and Robert Consani had a scary start to his first gravel rally in a Citroën DS3 R5, taking a right hand corner flat out on SS3 and going off the road – losing his rear bumper in the process.
“It’s been a reasonably good day,” said Breen. “We made a safe tyre choice today, so I’m quite happy with the way things have gone.”
Text and photo: www.fiaerc.com