Thursday | 11 Feb 2021

Breen fired up by Arctic’s winter wonderland

Craig Breen believes the FIA World Rally Championship has landed a near-perfect winter round at Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox (26 - 28 February).

The Irishman tested his Hyundai i20 for the first time this year in the Rovaniemi region last week and was immediately taken with the conditions and the surroundings.

“It’s a stunning place,” said Breen. “There’s so much snow and with the deep-freeze conditions, it’s going to be an incredible place to hold a WRC round.

“Obviously, everybody loves Sweden and the history that event brings and, we shouldn’t forget, we’ve had fantastic conditions there not so long ago. But coming to the Arctic means we’re guaranteed these winter conditions and this is what the drivers are really looking forward to.”

Video: Arctic Rally Finland

The rally, appearing in the WRC for the first time in place of Rally Sweden, will be Breen’s first WRC outing since a stunning second place at Rally Estonia last September and he is looking forward to being back.

“Just driving this car again, it’s fantastic,” he said. “The test went well. The surface of the road was maybe a little bit soft with the snow and it rutted up quite quickly.

“When you’re using a test road in both directions, that can be a little bit complicated as you have ruts at either end of the corner. But other than that it was all good.

“It’ll be interesting to see what we get in terms of road conditions on the event, if we do get a hard ice base or if it’s softer, drier snow. That could have an impact on running order.

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“For obvious reasons, there’s not so much rallying going on at the moment, so I’m just really looking forward to sitting in the car and competing again.”

Breen has a strong record on snow and ice in the WRC. He finished in the top five on two of his last three Rally Sweden outings, including a career-best second overall for Citroën in 2018.