Wednesday | 12 Jan 2022

Breen rolls Puma during Monte test

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Rally Monte-Carlo preparations have been halted after Craig Breen rolled the squad’s hybrid-powered Ford Puma Rally1 on Wednesday morning.

Both the Irishman and his co-driver Paul Nagle walked away from a crash which landed the car at the bottom of a ravine close to Gap.

Breen was the second of M-Sport Ford’s four drivers testing this week; Adrien Fourmaux drove yesterday with Gus Greensmith expected to run tomorrow before Sébastien Loeb gets in the car on Sunday.

Team principal Richard Millener is working on getting the car back out this week.

“Obviously continuing the test is dependent on the condition of the car once we get it back,” said Millener. “We’re pulling it up now and then we’ll inspect the damage once it’s back into the service. What’s happened isn’t ideal, but it’s always a risk when you’re testing.

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“Like Craig said, this is his first crash in testing in 13 years. It can happen. Fortunately for him, he’s had a fair bit of time in the car recently and I don’t see any reason for this to impact on his performance in the rally. We’ve talked about it and I’m sure he’ll forget about it and move on.”

The accident happened on a right-hand corner. On approach, Breen clipped a wall with the Puma’s front left wheel which sent the car across the road and into a bank on the inside. It then bounced off the bank and rolled down a ravine on the outside. 

It’s estimated the car is 15 metres below the road. Breen is the third WRC driver to crash in pre-season testing, with Elfyn Evans and Thierry Neuville both going off in their Rallye Monte-Carlo preparations last month.

Image supplied by José Arellano

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