Super 2000 World Rally Championship driver Craig Breen has admitted he is finding his return to asphalt rallying hard following the Targa Florio accident in which his co-driver Gareth Roberts died.
Breen is contesting this week's Rally de France, his first time back on sealed surfaces since the June accident, although he did run Peugeot's 208 R2 as a course car on the Ulster Rally.
"It will be very difficult for me," said Breen. "Obviously, coming from Ireland, tarmac is the surface which I preferred and feel more comfortable on, but competing for the first time since the accident in Sicily will not be easy."
Breen starts the event eight points adrift of SWRC leader P-G Andersson (Proton) and says he has no choice but to push for a repeat of his Rally GB win from last month.
"There are two rounds left," he said, "and the time has come to knuckle down and try to win ' if we could win here it would take some of the pressure off us a little bit."
Breen is joint second in the standings with Hayden Paddon.
"It's a big fight in SWRC," he said, "and this is the first time we're really altogether and going for the thing on Tarmac. I was supposed to test on Monday, but didn't for various reasons and I can't really test for this event – we don't have many vineyards at home; we've plenty of Guinness at home, not so much wine!"