Monday | 16 Aug 2021

Breen’s second place sends message to suitors

Craig Breen says he’s never driven better than he is right now – and he’s hoping his Renties Ypres Rally Belgium pace will be enough to land him a full FIA World Rally Championship programme in 2022.

The Irishman was on spectacular form in Belgium, finishing second behind team-mate Thierry Neuville to help Hyundai Motorsport narrow the gap to manufacturers’ championship leader Toyota Gazoo Racing with four rounds remaining.

“I love Ypres,” said Breen, who shares drives in the team’s third i20 World Rally Car with Dani Sordo. “The stages are just fantastic and this year was no different. I did as much as I could with this event. I led for a while and made sure I was right there.

“Everything just felt natural through the whole weekend. It just felt nice and calm and I really enjoyed my drive. We obviously quite soon established that we needed to do our job and protect Thierry and we did just that and brought the result home, so I’m happy.

Video: Renties Ypres Rally Belgium Onboard of the Rally - Craig Breen

“This is a great result for the team, but it’s also a strong result for me. The pleasing thing is that this second place here in Ypres comes right on the back of a second place in Estonia – a completely different rally. I’ve had podiums before, but not two successive ones like this.”

Breen’s future next season remains unclear, but he has been closely linked with a seat at M-Sport Ford when the British squad ushers in its new Puma Rally1 car for the first year of the WRC’s exciting new hybrid era.

“You know what I want next year, I want a full programme,” he added. “At the moment, nothing is sorted, but I’m hoping a result like this can’t hurt our hopes and aspirations.”

Breen and co-driver Paul Nagle will sit out the next WRC round at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece, with Sordo returning to the car.

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