Hyundai Motorsport team boss Andrea Adamo says he has been impressed by Craig Breen’s approach in 2020, as he aims to secure a full-time factory return to the World Rally Championship.
The former Citroën driver was left without a seat in 2019 but joined Hyundai for Rally Finland and GB to assist the team’s manufacturers’ title ambitions.
Breen will join Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville on Rally Estonia in September, but it’s the part he has played in Hyundai’s customer racing program – contesting the Rally di Roma and Rally di Alba events in Italy – that has pleased Adamo.
“Breen has done well. He is fully focused, a professional guy who is doing a top job with his targets,” Adamo told DirtFish.
“He’s a WRC driver, but when I told him we have to do this to help BRC Racing, support [Hyundai] Customer Racing, he never complained one second.
“He knows – he is a smart guy – he wishes to become a full works driver; he is now for us, but we have a limited program.”
Breen finished fourth on the European Rally Championship’s season-opening Rome event in his BRC Racing-run Hyundai i20 R5 for Team MRF.
The Indian tire manufacturer is tackling the European rallying scene this year with the intention of developing its rubber to rival brands like Michelin and Pirelli on the stages, and has Breen onboard for what is expected to be the full ERC season.
“Let’s say the truth as it is without putting too many pink shadows: of course, he understands, if he works in a proper way, the way manufacturer’s work – which he does – then it can be good for him,” added Adamo.
Breen’s 2020 WRC program has been affected by cancellations, but he has made one start in an i20 Coupe WRC this season – finishing seventh on Rally Sweden in February.
Should the Ypres Rally gains WRC status, he is thought to be the manufacturer’s favored driver to join full-time duo Tänak and Neuville.
Asked about his prospects of a 2021 seat, Breen said: “That’s obviously what we’re looking at every time we get behind the wheel.
“I just want consistency and continuity going onwards from this year, so honestly from the lockdown having those couple months at home, having the ability to train and get myself in a good place, I really feel better than I have done in any other point of my career right now.”