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Mon 07 Nov 2022

Breen confident in new co-driver Fulton

Craig Breen will start a new chapter in his story when he and James Fulton compete together for the first time at this week’s FORUM8 Rally Japan (10 - 13 November).

The M-Sport Ford driver signed off on his partnership with Paul Nagle in Spain last month and admits the first pace note read at this week’s FIA World Rally Championship finale will be an odd moment.

“It is the start of something new and something different,” said Breen. “I’m not sure if it’s completely sunk in yet that Paul’s gone, but it will as soon as we get to the recce.

“Paul’s going to be in Japan with us, but, of course, it’s going to be different. It’ll sound odd when we get to the start of the first stage and there’s that different voice in my ear. I’ve every confidence in James [Fulton] though. He’s absolutely ready for this.

“We’ve done plenty of preparation and maybe before the weekend we’ll just go over things one more time, but I have no worries in that direction.”

Nagle shares Breen’s confidence in his replacement.

“He is ready,” said the now retired Nagle. “I’ll be there just to give him a bit of advice if and when he needs it, but he’s very capable. It’ll be a bit odd for me to be there without a pace note book in my hand and constantly checking my watch. 

“I’ve had a fantastic journey through the WRC and I’m very grateful for such a good run.”

Breen is, of course, not the only frontline driver starting in Japan with a new voice in his ear. Toyota driver Sébastien Ogier will be co-driven by Vincent Landais for the first time at this season’s final round. 

  • Full coverage from FORUM8 Rally Japan will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.