Adamo: Breen’s asphalt confidence seems similar to Loeb’s

Irishman currently lies fifth overall on first asphalt appearance in WRC car since Germany 2018


Hyundai boss Andrea Adamo believes Craig Breen is “doing the job” that he needs to do on Rally Croatia, and his struggles to find confidence with the i20 Coupe WRC are similar to those experienced by Sébastien Loeb.

Rally Croatia marks Breen’s first WRC all-asphalt rally since Rally Germany in 2018 and his first aboard a Hyundai.

The 31-year-old ended the opening day in fifth place overall, while his Hyundai team-mates Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak are running in first and fourth places respectively.

On the second stage, Breen admitted it all felt a “bit alien” to him and following the final stage he said that “there’s some things in the car I need to change tomorrow.”

While Breen was self-critical in his appraisal at the end of most of Friday’s stages, his team boss Adamo understands why Breen isn’t on the same level as his team-mates.

“I think Craig is doing the job he has to do,” Adamo said. “He cannot take the risks that the ones in front are taking because he is here to cover the other position and taking the best opportunities that he has in certain rallies on gravel or snow, he can do much better.”


With caution – “I don’t want to be misunderstood because it’s very easy to be misunderstood” – Adamo made comparisons to nine-time champion Loeb.

Having won Rally Spain in 2018 aboard a Citroën C3 WRC, Loeb signed with Hyundai for two part-time campaigns for 2019 and ’20.

However, his only two podiums during that tenure came on gravel events and his asphalt outings usually involved incidents and soul-searching to find the confidence in the car displayed by his team-mates.

“Sébastien Loeb in the previous years was struggling a bit more on Tarmac to keep the pace than on gravel,” he added. “Not because he wasn’t fast enough but with this car, to go to the limit on Tarmac, they need a high level of confidence with the car.


“If in every corner, you release the throttle a little too early or don’t brake so deep, like the others are doing, you lose a tenth, a tenth, a tenth, then you arrive at the end of the stage and lose six seconds and in a rally like today, losing six seconds looks like an age here but six seconds is nothing.”

Breen also offered another reason for his confidence struggles when he spoke to DirtFish in the service park.

“Yeah, good and bad really,” he told DirtFish when asked about his day. “We have to make some changes on the car for tomorrow’s stages.

“The road that I tested on was something completely different to the conditions that we find here, so I’m having to change everything so much, but I’m confident I can find a better package for tomorrow.”