Super World Rally Championship leader Craig Breen will return to action on Thursday as the WRC heads to the Iberian Peninsula for the Rally de Portugal.

Breen has had an impressive start to the season after making the step up from the World Rally Championship Academy which he won in 2011.

After two rounds Breen is top of the leader board following a victory on the opening round in Monte Carlo and second place finish last time out in Sweden.

The event in Portugal will mark the half way point of the season for Breen, who has chosen the next event in New Zealand to opt out of as one of his scoring events.

After the tarmac of Monte Carlo and the snow of Sweden, the gravel of Portugal is going to bring a new challenge for the Waterford driver along with the introduction of night stages.

He said: “Portugal is going to be very important, I decided at the start of the year to not travel to round four in New Zealand so Portugal is the halfway stage for me."

Breen continued: “It’s the first gravel event of the year and is always a tough event. The introduction of the night stages will be interesting.

“I got the chance to test at home on a local gravel event at the beginning of the month which included stages in darkness and last weekend I was in Turkey for a gravel test with Castrol Ford Team Turkey so my preparation has gone well.”