What Breen made of a wet and muddy Ypres test

The Hyundai driver says he's "desperately hoping" Ypres Rally avoids cancellation amid rising coronavirus cases in Belgium

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Craig Breen kicked off Hyundai Motorsport’s Rally Ypres testing by running its i20 Coupe WRC in Flanders this past Monday.

Breen was happy with his day at the wheel of the test car, running in changeable conditions.

“We started the day with a lot of rain,” Breen told DirtFish, “then it dried up a bit. Dried up? Maybe not dried up. The straights got a bit drier, but the corners were just as wet and muddy from the cuts we’d made.

“We made some changes to the car and it improved through the day. We’ve got a few kilometres done and I’m reasonably happy with everything. I still feel fairly confident with everything before the event.”

His Hyundai stablemate Ott Tänak got behind the wheel of the i20 a few miles over the border in France on the following day, while Thierry Neuville has been testing on Wednesday on similar roads to Breen.

Breen, who won Ypres Rally last year, had been scheduled to compete in Belgium last weekend in the  Hemicuda Rally prior to its cancellation. Breen admits he missed the chance to drive the i20 again and is hoping the Ypres Rally will go ahead as planned.  

“Any chance you get to drive this thing, I’m going to take it,” he added. “Obviously, it would have been great to get some time in the Walloon region as well as on the Flemish roads. It’s a bit of a bummer not to have been able to get out, but we’ve got some kilometres done in the car.

“The test road we used was close to the stages [close to Ypres] and it was tricky, like you’d expect. It was also all a bit strange not to have any spectators anywhere around. It’s a difficult time.

“We’re all desperately hoping to get out and get some rallying done again, but we have to put our faith in the people on the ground and accept the decisions they come to.”