Monday | 04 Apr 2022

Breen goes back to roots for Croatia warm-up

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team driver Craig Breen will combine work with pleasure at Rallye Sanremo this weekend (8 - 10 April).

The Irishman will swap his hybrid-powered Puma Rally1 for a Rally2-specification Fiesta at the famous asphalt event in northwestern Italy. 

As well as targeting enjoyment at the rally he has won twice previously, Breen also hopes the outing will act as a good warm-up for round three of the FIA World Rally Championship at the Croatia Rally (21 - 24 April).

“It's a rally that I obviously enjoy and have managed to win for the last two years that it’s ran,” Breen explained. “I'm a huge fan of the story and history of rallying, and obviously Sanremo is an iconic event. 

“Secondly, we’ve been out of competition since Sweden, so it’s nice to get back into rally mode again. Obviously with Croatia coming up, it's not a bad idea just to have ourselves in the best possible place. 

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“Italy is very close to my heart: I spend a lot of my time here, I know the people and it's just a pleasure to be here, so it’s something that’s going to be really nice,” he added.

The 32-year-old currently holds seventh in the championship after finishing third at Rallye Monte-Carlo and retiring from Rally Sweden with technical troubles. 

He is still chasing down a maiden WRC victory despite netting seven top three finishes during his career. 

Last year, while driving a Hyundai i20, Breen finished eighth at the Zagreb-based fixture after puncturing a tyre and lacking confidence. 

Breen hopes to emulate - or improve on - his Rallye Monte-Carlo podium

“Can we win in Croatia? There's no reason why we can't,” he said. “We definitely have the tools and all the things that we need to do a good result.

“We saw what Seb [Loeb] did in Monte-Carlo, and myself and Paul definitely got better there as the weekend went on to finish on the podium. We need to try and head into the rally in Croatia with the same result in mind at least, if not better. 

“We'll be giving it all we can. I just want to try and find a good feeling with the car in the test, get comfortable with everything and then let's see what we can do in the rally.”

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