Breen back in i20
Craig Breen returns to the wheel of a Hyundai i20 later this month as rumours suggest his impressive drive in Finland last weekend could net two more WRC outings this season.
Breen will drive an i20 R5 at the Ulster Rally, a round of both the British and Irish Tarmac championships, but played down suggestions he will return to the World Rally Car version for two more gravel WRC events with Hyundai Motorsport.
“I really don’t know. For the moment it was this weekend and I had a job to do and have done it, so I can only leave it in the hands of the people who know better than me. I want to be back straight away if I can but it’s not my decision unfortunately,” Breen told wrc.com.
The Irishman finished seventh at Neste Rally Finland on his first WRC event in an i20. He was the leading Hyundai driver throughout the opening leg and deliberately incurred time penalties on the final day to allow team leader Thierry Neuville to move ahead.
“It has been a tough few months being away from it and I was unsure how quickly I could get back into the rhythm again but I’m really happy with how the whole weekend panned out and our speed. I couldn’t have asked for a better time,” he said.
Breen lost his WRC seat with Citroën Racing at the end of last season and has driven a mixed programme of rallies this year in a variety of R5 cars including a Ford Fiesta, Skoda Fabia and Volkswagen Polo.
“We’ve not done anything on gravel this year, I’ve been concentrating on asphalt rallies. I was happy at how quickly everything gelled (in Finland).
“Already at shakedown I felt comfortable and confident with everything, although I think that last little bit is still going to take some time to get used to everything again,” he added.
The Ulster Rally (17 August) is the latest round of the Irish series, in which Breen has been a regular this season.
“I will have completed my R5 bingo at that point, I will have driven them all!” he joked. “I’m going to do some development with the R5 car as well for them and obviously I’ve driven the rest of them so it’s of interest for them for me to drive it. That’s all it is.”
Listen to Breen's thoughts on our new podcast here.
The Neste Rally Finland Quiz
Just how close were you following the action from Neste Rally Finland this weekend?
Finland debrief: part 1
Look back at the weekend’s action
Greensmith called up for Germany
Briton replaces injured Evans