Andreas Mikkelsen out, Craig Breen in at Hyundai for Rally Australia

Craig Breen

Mikkelsen, who only won in Australia just three years ago, had initially been the preferred option for Hyundai, but an amended entry list now reveals Breen and co-driver Paul Nagle will be in the number 18 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.

Irishman Breen, who joins fellow Hyundai drivers Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo for the rally, ran well Down Under last season and says he is looking forward to avenging what he felt was a potentially strong final event for Citroën in 2018.

“The whole rally went upside down for me,” said Breen. “I lost every bit of feeling I had from the Citroën C3 WRC. I made a mistake on Saturday midday and then it started to rain on Sunday and things just unfolded from there.

“Things were going really well, we were second on Friday night, then we had an issue with the throttle, I overheated the brakes and melted the tyres, took a wheel off. It all fell apart. I really want to go back and finish that rally with some good memories.”

The sudden and unexpected driver switch raises questions over Mikkelsen’s future at the Korean squad as he recently split with his management team and currently has no firm contract for next season…

Rally Australia, the final round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship gets underway at Coffs Harbour in New South Wales in just under two weeks time on Thursday, 14th November.

With the WRC Drivers’ title already wrapped up one rally early by Toyota’s Ott Tänak, all eyes will be on the WRC Manufacturers’ fight between holder Toyota and arch rivals Hyundai who are still seeking their first piece of post season silverware, six years after coming into the sport with a virtually unlimited budget!
Source: Motorsport Week