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Tue 11 Oct 2022

Breen reveals new co-driver from Japan onwards

Craig Breen has named countryman James Fulton as his replacement co-driver for Paul Nagle from next month’s FORUM8 Rally Japan onwards.

Nagle announced his retirement from the sport’s highest level following Rally New Zealand earlier this month. His last event will be next week's RallyRACC - Rally de España.

Fulton has been a regular face in the WRC2 field alongside Josh McErlean in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 across the last two seasons. The 30-year-old admitted the seat alongside Breen at M-Sport Ford was an opportunity not to be missed. 

Fulton said: “I am delighted to get the opportunity, it’s something that I have been aiming towards for a while now, naturally, like any co-driver to get to the top level. 

“I have been working with Craig for quite a while now and I have done a couple of tests in the Puma, so I am really looking forward to developing the relationship with him and the car as well as with the team. I am looking forward to getting stuck into it and doing the best possible job.”

Breen said those recent tests had built confidence into his relationship with Fulton and Rally Japan was about settling him in the car ahead of next season’s opener, Rallye Monte-Carlo.

“I have every confidence in James,” he said. “He’s been on the most recent tests with us and Japan will give him good experience ahead of next season. Paul [Nagle] will also be joining us in Japan, just to settle everything in and give James plenty of reassurance. 

“He’s done the best part of two years in the World Rally Championship, but it’s still going to be a step for him - but I’m sure he’s got it covered. He’s watched so many of the onboards and has seen so many stages that way, it already feels like he’s been sitting alongside me for a while."

Team principal Richard Millener has been impressed by Fulton’s progress. He added: “First of all, I’d like to thank Paul for all of the hard work and effort he’s put for both Craig and the team this season. He’s a great character and will definitely be missed.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for both James and Craig though, it’s a new chapter for the pair and so far from testing and on-event support they seem to be a great match. James is very professional, organised and committed, which are the key ingredients to becoming a successful co-driver.”