Irishman Craig Breen is expected to be announced as a Hyundai Motorsport driver for the 2021 World Rally Championship in the coming days.
DirtFish understands the Korean manufacturer will continue its policy of driver rotation in its third i20 Coupe WRC, with Breen and Dani Sordo sharing the car through 2021.
Breen drove the factory World Rally Car twice this season, finishing sixth in Sweden and second to team-mate Ott Tänak in Estonia. Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo said Breen’s efforts – allied to his additional development work with Hyundai Customer Racing – meant he deserved his shot at a longer program in the world championship.
“We put him basically out of the blue in Finland [last year],” Adamo told DirtFish.
“He did an amazing rally in Finland, he did badly in GB, I told him: ‘Now you have a third possibility in Sweden this year’.
“He did so-so. But, for example, in Estonia he did amazing. So I think he deserves it – also because he accepted to be part of Hyundai doing other stuff: he did the European Rally Championship, developing [MRF] tires, he did testing, so focused, he was always there for us.
“So far I’ve not confirmed, but I would say that in that case it would be deserved.”
Breen wouldn’t be drawn on his future, saying only that he wanted to continue working with Hyundai.
“I don’t know anything,” he told DirtFish. “There have been some discussions with Andrea and Alain [Penasse, team manager], but there’s nothing to report at the moment.
“Obviously I’d love to stay and love to get back in the car again next season. There’s a great feeling in the team and the car’s fantastic. It would be great to help Hyundai Motorsport chase a third world championship.”
Sordo, who has been with Hyundai since the team arrived back in the WRC in 2014, finished on the podium on the final two rounds of this year’s WRC, winning in Sardinia and leading Monza before finishing third.
The Spaniard told DirtFish his deal is not confirmed yet, but he’s talking to Adamo in the hope of concluding an agreement soon.