Monday, 24 March 2014

Rally - New 208 T16

Photo by: FPF Sport (Italy)
This weekend sees the 60th running of the Acropolis Rally in Greece on the 28-30 March. It will be the third round of the 2014 European Rally Championship and there’s a big change to the format. The rally will use tarmac roads on Leg one and traditional gravel tracks on Leg 2. Based in Loutraki on the banks of the Gulf of Corinth. The action begins with a Qualifying Stage on Friday afternoon with the rally running over two days from Saturday until Sunday.

Of particular interest to UK rally fans will be the appearance of Peugeot’s new 208 T16 in the hands of Peugeot Academy rising star Craig Breen and Scott Martin.

The new car actually made its debut on the Rally Il Ciocco in Italy (March 16), the week before the Border Counties, where  Paolo Andreucci drove the car to third place behind rally winner Giandomenico Basso in a Ford Fiesta R5 and Umberto Scandola in a Skoda Fabia S2000.
Photo by: FPF Sport (Italy)

This is an important car for Peugeot, as the company has already got 22 orders for the new R5 machine. Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin commented. “The 208 T16 is a strategically important flagship product for Peugeot Sport, especially this year which marks the 30th anniversary of the 205T16’s introduction! There is significant demand for the 208 T16 and our priority is to work closely with all our customers, whether they be subsidiary-backed or privateer teams, to help them win on all types of surface, with the 207 S2000 as our benchmark!”

To date, Peugeot Sport has now received 22 firm orders - eight in Italy, five in France, three in the Czech Republic, two in Germany and one in Brazil, Denmark, Latvia and Belgium.

On Friday afternoon, (March 28) Craig and Scott Martin will compete on the 3.27km tarmac qualifying stage to determine road position for the following day. Later on that evening they will take part in a spectacular start ceremony high above the Corinth Canal.

Day one features 124.62km of new tarmac stages in the north eastern part of Peloponnese while Day two will use 114.22km of the event’s more traditional fast and rocky stages. This year also sees the introduction on day two of an all-asphalt seaside superspecial mid loop which takes place in Korinthos – with the cars still in gravel spec!

Dutchman Kevin Abbring will partner Craig in a second Peugeot Rally Academy-entered 208 T16.

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