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Fri 07 Jan 2022

Breen drops historic outings to focus on WRC campaign

Elite sport is about sacrifice – nobody knows that better than Craig Breen, who is giving up driving historic cars for the foreseeable future as he focuses his attentions on leading the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team into 2022.

As a great student of the sport, Breen has always enjoyed the opportunity to drive historic rally cars. 

However, the Irishman will drop such outings in a bid to get to grips with some of the biggest technical regulation changes in the sport’s history as the WRC enters its inaugural hybrid season.

“This opportunity is huge for me,” said Breen talking of his deal to drive M-Sport Ford’s brand-new Puma Hybrid Rally1 car. 

“I’m going to give it absolutely everything I’ve got. In the past, I’ve told myself that seat time in any kind of rally car helps you, but in all honesty it doesn’t really. 

“These cars are so specific now, with the hybrid they’re unlike anything we’ve done before and the biggest thing we need is to find the natural feeling with the car. I’m not going to do that with the historic stuff, which is why I’ve stopped it.”

Breen switched to M-Sport Ford after scoring a brace of podium places with Hyundai Motorsport, finishing second in Belgium and third in Finland. Since the autumn, he’s spent all of his time working with the British team on the Puma.

“I hoped that missing the last two rounds of the [WRC] would give me the chance to get a good feeling for the Rally1 car,” said Breen, “and I honestly believe it has.

“I’ve had time in the new car and I’ve had time out of the World Rally Car – you almost need to forget certain aspects of the last generation of cars. We don’t have the same diffs, the aero and suspension are different. I wanted that natural feeling with the Puma and it’s definitely there.

“We have one more test now before Monte and I honestly can’t want. It’s so exciting, the buzz is tremendous.”

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