Craig Breen is expected to be named alongside Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville in Hyundai Motorsport’s World Rally Championship Rally Estonia line-up – and he could keep the seat for Ypres.
The Irishman made his debut with the team in Estonia last year, placing an early-specification i20 Coupe WRC fifth before having a storming run through WRC’s Rally Finland which left him top Hyundai runner for the first half of the event.
It’s that fast-rally pace which will be at the forefront of Hyundai Motorsport director Andrea Adamo’s mind when he makes the call for the Tartu-based WRC round on September 4-6. Breen had been selected ahead of Sébastien Loeb and Dani Sordo to return to Jyväskylä for Rally Finland in a factory i20 before the event was canceled last month.
If Ypres Rally makes it to the calendar – a move which requires the co-operation of Rally Turkey in shifting forward by a week to ease logistics – Breen is understood to be the preferred choice for the third works car.
Breen has competed in Ypres four times, been on the podium twice and won once. It’s that record on the Belgian classic which is likely to place him ahead of Loeb and Sordo – both of whom have a solid asphalt record.
There was no comment from Hyundai regarding its driver line-up for coming events and Breen himself admitted he remained in the dark about plans.
“The team knows my feelings on this,” Breen told DirtFish. “I’ll take any opportunity I can to get into the car. We’re working flat-out and doing all we can to make sure we’re back in a seat full-time as soon as possible.”
Breen has a busy time coming up, competing back-to-back at Rally di Roma and Rally di Alba within the next month, before switching to a gravel-specification i20 R5 for Rally Liepāja in Latvia in the middle of August.