Why Breen is competing in Portugal

Craig Breen will contest the full Portuguese championship in 2023 - and is excited by the challenge


“If there’s an opportunity to go and drive a rally car, whether it’s a Lada or a World Rally Car, I’ll jump at it.”

It’s a fantastic quote – one you probably won’t be too shocked to learn belongs to Craig Breen. And it perfectly explains why he’s engineered a way to contest next weekend’s West Cork Rally back home in Ireland in his own Ford Sierra Cosworth.

In stark contrast to 2022, the smile cannot be wiped from Breen’s face at the moment after his return to the World Rally Championship podium on his first rally back for Hyundai last month, and then his grassroots adventures two weekends later.

But for now Breen’s focus has diverted away from the WRC and towards the Portuguese Rally Championship.


The 33-year-old will contest the full eight-round Portuguese season in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 for the Sports & You team, starting with this weekend’s European Rally Championship opener Rally Serras de Fafe.

Breen’s Portuguese campaign also guarantees he’ll start the WRC event in Portugal, although not in the Rally1 car.

But what did Breen find appealing in the Portuguese championship?

“It was a bit typical me, just agreeing to everything and not really giving it much thought but in the end it is complimenting the season well,” Breen told DirtFish.

“The team that runs the Portuguese program, Sports & You, I know them since basically the creation of that team and I’ve been helping them out with various different drivers with tuition and what not.

“It came up from the owner, Pedro Fontes, he asked me the question at the end of last year and I said ‘why not?’

“I like different challenges, I like doing… probably to my downfall sometimes I say yes to everything and if there’s an opportunity to go and drive a rally car, whether it’s a Lada or a World Rally Car, I’ll jump at it.

“For me it’s another chance to explore something new, new rallies, new people, another adventure so that’s the main thinking behind that.”

The only clash aside from Rally Portugal between the WRC and Portuguese seasons falls at the beginning of August as Rali Vinho da Madeira falls on the same weekend as Rally Finland.