MOTORSPORT NEWSRally

BREEN BOOSTED BY POWER STAGE BONUS HAUL

Craig Breen’s points tally from Arctic Rally Finland’s Wolf Power Stage has given the Irishman confidence to chase more bonus points in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship.

The Hyundai Motorsport driver finished fourth at the Lapland rally, ending on a high with second place in the closing test. He kept a charging Elfyn Evans at bay with a time just 0.3sec shy of Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä.

Breen says that four-point Wolf Power Stage was the highlight of a tricky event, his first in an i20 World Rally Car since finishing second at September’s Rally Estonia.

With bonus points now on offer for manufacturers from the start of this season, the onus is on drivers to deliver what they can for their team as well as themselves in that last-test battle.

“I haven’t delivered so much on the Power Stage in the past if I’m honest,” said Breen.

“It’s the time where everybody ups their game and chases those extra points, but a lack of experience has played on my mind a little bit from time to time. Maybe I didn’t have that bit to give when I had a fair bit to risk, but in Finland we were right up to it.

“I was frustrated with the rally, I didn’t feel things went as well as they could have done and I was really frustrated at dropping the time to Elfyn on the first run at that stage. We pushed on in the last one and that was great for me.

“I’ve helped giving manufacturers’ championship points, we brought home a haul there so I’m definitely happy with that.”

Breen acknowledged he also learned more about driving the i20 in Rovaniemi.

“The engineers have been fantastic again,” he added. “They worked with me to identify areas where I was losing time and maybe upsetting the car a little bit with my driving style.

“They’ve given me some ideas to make my driving more natural, more flowing and it all helped and it will help moving forwards.”

Source: wrc.com