MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

ESTONIA KNOWLEDGE FAVOURS BREEN

Craig Breen is counting on solid Rally Estonia experience after being confirmed in Hyundai Motorsport’s line-up for September’s FIA World Rally Championship restart.The Irishman was last week named alongside Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville in an i20 World Rally Car for the WRC’s fourth round on 4 – 6 September, which kicks starts the series after the Covid-19 lockdown.

“This will be the fifth time I’ve done the rally,” he said. “OK, one of those was in an R2 car, but Estonia’s an event I’ve always really enjoyed and I’m hoping I can make my experience count.”

Breen starts the Tartu-based gravel road fixture in a World Rally Car for the third time, having placed a Citroën C3 on the podium in third place two years ago, before making his debut in an i20 last year.

“I’ve had a quick look at the schedule for the event,” continued Breen, “and I recognised a couple of stage names. I’m hoping the roads will be similar to the ones we’ve used there before.

“I’ve got this experience and it would be a real shame if we couldn’t put it to good use. But, to be honest, the experience will help with the nature of the stages and the roads. I can’t wait to get back out there and get going in the WRC again.”

Breen will be busy in the lead up to Rally Estonia. He finished fourth at last weekend’s Rally di Roma Capitale and will contest this week’s Rally di Alba, also in Italy, before heading to Latvia for Rally Liepāja.

Also in action in Rome were Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo and 2C Competition’s Pierre-Louis Loubet (below), who both drove i20 World Rally Cars in a standalone event. They finished first and second.

Sordo was preparing for the WRC’s Rallye Deutschland in October and said: “We used this rally as an opportunity to test many different parts of the car. We had a throttle issue during SS3 on Saturday, which lost us about 25sec seconds to reset, but it’s all part of why we’ve been here: to learn.”

Loubet ended the opening leg ahead of the Spaniard on his competitive debut in a World Rally Car. He slipped behind on Sunday but gained valuable experience ahead of WRC outings in Estonia, Turkey, Germany and Italy.

Source: wrc.com Images: wrc.com